Questionable Behavior

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this too, but every time I’ve seen a blog post over the last week that mentioned the upcoming release of IE8, it was paired with an ad for Google Chrome:


Now of course, this makes sense.  Google owns AdSense, the ad-trafficking network on all of these pages.  And they certainly have a right to send their own ads wherever they’d like.


Doesn’t this verge a little bit on an anti-trust issue?  Google can control the flow of ads to pages that mention the text ‘IE8’ — so that they basically own all ad space next to talk of Microsoft’s product.  Within their network, of course.  But since they bought DoubleClick, their network is huge.  And while they might not be able to put their ads on commercially sold properties (AOL, NYT, etc), I’m sure they’ll send some of their bulk AdSense ads to those pages.  And I’ll bet that if there’s a mention of IE8, there’ll be an ad for Chrome in that AdSense spot.

I’m sure it’s nothing.  Google only recently started advertising for their own products, so I’m sure they’re testing the waters a bit.  And there’s no way the Justice Department will ever figure something like this out until years after the fact.

But it does show a huge potential for abuse of power in Google’s ad network, no?

Only time will tell.

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