Google’s £13.6bn Lawsuit Will Go To Trial; How is the Industry Making Advertising More Inclusive?  

On today’s news digest: Google’s £13.6bn Lawsuit Will Go To Trial; How is the Industry Making Advertising More Inclusive?; OpenAI Employees Sign Open Warning Letter 

It’s no surprise to the industry that Google continues to face legal troubles over its anti-competitive practices in the online advertising market. London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal has ruled that the £13.6bn lawsuit brought by Ad Tech Collective Action LLP should go to trial. This follows failed attempts by Google’s parent company Alphabet to get the case dropped. The lawsuit alleges the tech giant has too much power over the market, and behaved in a way which caused online publishers to lose money. This is an op-out case, which means that all relevant UK publishers will be included unless they indicate a wish to be excluded. A court date is yet to be set. 

Meanwhile, other industry members continue the fight to accelerate gender equality in the ad ecosystem. Women in Advertising, Communications and Leadership (WACL) has launched a campaign in collaboration with YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest and Billion Dollar Boy which calls for better representation of all women in advertising. The campaign highlights that the industry should be taking further action to support all forms of diversity including race, disability, sexual orientation and age, with many women feeling – and statistically still being – unrepresented in ads. 

There’s also unrest in the AI arena: current and former employees of OpenAI, Anthropic and Google’s DeepMind have signed an open letter to warn about the lack of safety and oversight at the companies. The letter states: “AI companies have strong financial incentives to avoid effective oversight, and we do not believe bespoke structures of corporate governance are sufficient to change this.” Additionally, the need for more whistleblower protections is highlighted – they deem the current protections to be insufficient, as they focus on illegal activity, whereas most of the risks they are concerned with are still unregulated areas. This follows OpenAI recently setting up a Safety and Security Committee to be led exclusively by high-level executives at the company. 

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