Cracking Down on the Digital Monopolies

Although nothing in this world can rival human intelligence, we do suffer from our own fair share of imperfections. These imperfections, in turn, have showed up time and time again throughout our history, but some of those appearances do stand out a little. We are talking about the ones that left an inedible mark on our lives, and by doing so, they forced us to look for a concrete response. We will, of course, find the stated response when we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority within each and every sector was a game-changer, as it literally made us more organized than ever before. However, the utopia was pretty short-lived, and if we are being honest, it was all technology’s fault. You see, with technology running the entire show, the rule breakers suddenly had a prime shot at hiding their unscrupulous activities. Such a dynamic pushed us towards a reality that was skewed in every conceivable manner. Fortunately enough, though, it looks like we are still actively trying to restore the lost balance and a newly-introduced bill indicates how we might be heading in the right direction.

A group of Senate Democrats and Republicans have formally proposed a legislation, which can potentially alter the online ads business of companies like Meta and Google. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the all-new Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act, assuming it gets approved, will ban the companies processing more than $20 billion a year in digital ad transactions from running more than one portion of the digital advertising ecosystem. This particularly emerges as a major crackdown on Google, who has already faced a ton of accusations over monopolizing the display advertising market. However, when questioned about the bill, Google made a point of mentioning how the move will ultimately affect the users.

“Advertising tools from Google and many competitors help American websites and apps fund their content, help businesses grow, and help protect users from privacy risks and misleading ads,” said Tarallo McAlister, a Google spokesperson. “Breaking those tools would hurt publishers and advertisers, lower ad quality, and create new privacy risks.  And, at a time of heightened inflation, it would handicap small businesses looking for easy and effective ways to grow online.”

Co-sponsored by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the bill would require both Meta and Google to shut down large portions of their ad operations, but they are not the only companies that should be preparing for a massive overhaul. The bill also takes an aim at relatively smaller companies who are processing a minimum $5 billion of ad transactions per year. To give you an example, these companies will be required to provide transparent pricing and are obligated in terms of acting in their customers’ best interests. In case they don’t fulfill the stated requirements, customers will have every right to sue them.


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