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Italian Antitrust Authority Investigating Adsense Payment Policy

Possible disclosure in payments calculations?

8:36 pm on Mar 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The antitrust authority is investigating Google Adsense policies regarding the payments made to the publishers and the lack of transparency in how they're calculated.

After an initial review of Adsense Terms & Conditions, the authority outlined the following: (translation)
- Google is not obliged to comunicate how the payments are calculated;
- The payments are calculated exclusively from data that Google holds;
- Google can modify at any moment the price determination and payment structure at its discretion.

What if the authority forces Google to include its price determination structure in the Terms and Conditions, basically disclosing a lot of "secrets"?

Would Google comply? (finally revealing to the world of it really works?)
Would Google threaten to pull out of the country? (losing a very important market and facing the risk of having to withstand similar investigation in the rest of th EU?)
8:14 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Could you imagine even the largest UK AdSense publisher having the financial resources taking on Google?

There are plenty of examples of small businesses winning cases against bigger ones (or of consumers winning cases against huge companies), and the largest Adsense publishers are quite big enough to hire a good legal team.

A strong case beats a good lawyer. If I had a really good case against someone and I was short of money I would be happy to a litigant in person.

Graeme - you have your view, I have mine.

Except mine is based on what the legislation actually says.

@leadegroot, those make a lot of sense, and I can imagine Google doing those even without anyone forcing them to. They could always anonymise advertisers (so you at least know advertiser X has cut their budget.).

It has never been clear to me how smart pricing works, so some transparency there would be useful. I think its less likely as smart pricing is (at least partially) aimed at MFAs and it may help them evade it.

I tend to treat Adsense a a black box. I have tried different formats and positions, and I occasionally swap out ads for another network. So far I have replaced one of the three Google ads on my page with another network (PPA, not PPC ads), and if anything else that looks good comes along I will try it.
11:40 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Graeme, you asked me to point out what part of the legislation supported my argument and that's exactly what I did - methinks you are blind to the arguments and somewhat of a sore loser.

Also your interpretation of
This section applies as between contracting parties where one of them deals as consumer or on the otherís written standard terms of business
is just plain wrong. It is not saying that the protection applies only to consumers it is saying that the protection applies to consumers AND others who are subject to standard terms and conditions (such as Adsense publishers).

I don't see any point discussing this matter further with someone who is either incapable of understanding such a simple point or too belligerent to concede it.

8:07 pm on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I was posting in another item and it ended up here for some reason.
4:57 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Farmboy, you have a really corrupt and immature way of seeing the world.

That's step 1 to admitting that you don't have much to say about the topic on hand.

There are laws for a reason.

And changes in laws happen for a reason as well. There are times when companies should consider if they are really doing OK with the laws and there are times when law-makers should actually move their, hrmmm, brains, and help evolve the laws in line with reality.
This 64 message thread spans 3 pages: 64