On this week's MadTech Podcast, ExchangeWire's Lindsay Rowntree and Ciaran O'Kane join head of content John Still to discuss Amazon's Shopping List Savings feature, the potential impact of the proposed Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act, and O'Kane's ad tech predictions for the rest of the year (and beyond).
Amazon introduces cash back in exchange for shopping data
Is this a smart move by Amazon, or could it reignite anticompetitive scrutiny?
Amazon has introduced a new cash back scheme that rewards customers for sharing their external purchase data. The Shopping List Savings feature allows customers to browse selected deals on products at their store of choice and add them to their shopping list within the Alexa app. The customer can then redeem the cashback offer by uploading a photo of their receipt to the app post-purchase, and will receive a rebate into their Amazon gift card balance within 48 hours. According to an FAQ on the feature’s landing page, the rebates are provided by manufacturers of the eligible products.
The new scheme will give Amazon not just an even keener insight into what their customers are buying, but more information into how their bricks-and-mortar competitors price their products. This extensive data collection effort could fuel concerns surrounding Amazon’s undercutting of rival merchants, as well as those around the ecommerce giant’s handling of consumer data. One report notes that the feature’s terms and conditions do not specify whether user data will be anonymised.
Proposed US bill could see Google’s ad arm broken
Could Google’s ad business be broken up, and what would the consequences be if so?
A collective of US senators have introduced a new piece of legislation that could force Google to dismantle their ad business. The cross-party proposal, called “The Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act”, was presented to Congress last Thursday (19th May). It would bar companies from processing more than USD $20bn worth of digital advertising transactions per year from participating in more than one part of the digital advertising ecosystem.
If passed, the bill would make Google’s ad business, which spans the entire ecosystem, illegal. Republican senator Mike Lee, who’s leading the bipartisan group, took direct aim at the Alphabet subsidiary, saying that Google’s current model gives them “an unfair, undue advantage in the marketplace, one that doesn’t necessarily reflect the value they’re providing”.
The bill aims to address some of the allegations levied against Google in a 2020 antitrust lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, with similarly aggressive legislation expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.
Ciaran O'Kane's 2022 MadTech Predictions
Ahead of ExchangeWire’s flagship ATS London event (14th & 15th June), our CSO Ciaran O’Kane has set out his predictions for the near future of ad tech and martech, measuring the probability of each on a scale of one to five bottles of rosé (to align with ATSL’s new June date).
O’Kane’s predictions include: that Google will be forced to divest their tech stack (see above – ⅗); Mediaocean will buy Magnite (⅗); zero ID will cause havoc in Europe (⅘); Netflix will rely on third-party tech vendors as they move into AVOD (⅘); eBay will buy an ad server to get into retail media (⅗); and publishers’ rising opposition to contextual’s use of data crawling could cause a serious fallout (⅘). O’Kane also outlines his forecast for ad tech IPOs in 2023/24.