Authorities are investigating Google for anticompetitive behavior have recently begun probing the company’s $116 billion-a-year advertising business.
Attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories along with the U.S. Department of Justice are reported to be to be acting on accusations from rivals, lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups that the biggest seller of online advertising engages in unfair tactics.
About 80 percent of Google’s advertising revenue and most of its profits come from Google search results, YouTube, Gmail and other internet services the company owns. The remaining 20 percent is from what is commonly referred to as its “display business.” Google boosted this operation by acquiring seller tools such as DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in 2008 and AdMob for $750 million in 2010 and then buyer services including Invite Media for a reported $81 million in 2010.
An area of concern is how Google may be using its Chrome internet browser, which has about 50 percent market share in the United States, to restrict most advertising systems, beside its own, from building profiles on consumers as they browse the web.