Google has reached a legal settlement with European antitrust regulators that will change the way it displays shopping ads. The Europeans believe the deal will lessen Google’s dominance of online advertising and improve competition.
In the future, Google in Europe will display three non-Google “alternative” ads alongside its own Google Shopping results, according to Re/code.
Here’s how those ads look now, BEFORE the settlement takes effect:
And here’s how they’re going to look AFTER the agreement is formalized:
Note that Google is being forced to list rival, non-Google “alternatives” on its own ad space.
Europe is a major market for Google, obviously. If U.S. regulators were to adopt a similar approach — highly unlikely — it could have a material effect on Google’s revenues. Analysts believe the shopping ads, technically called “product listing ads,” are a significant driver of increased revenues at Google. The format was introduced in late 2011/early 2012.
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