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Search and Advertising

Economists are interested in how the design of ad auctions affects search engine revenues, and how access to the Internet – and thus to search engines – affects retail prices and possibly leads to higher prices for certain consumers.

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Carnegie Mellon University computer science and privacy expert Lorrie Cranor and her colleague Hana Habib, Graduate Research Assistant with CMU, explain what the private-browsing tools available with most browsers actually provide users. They clarify: “don’t confuse privacy for anonymity.”
A new study by MIT economic professor Erik Brynjolfsson and his colleagues Avinash Collis and Felix Eggers puts a dollar value on all those free digital goods people use, and builds the case that online activity can and should become part of GDP someday.
University of California, Berkeley professor Chris Hoofnagle looks beyond the platform-advertiser relationship at Facebook and Google, and examines the developer-platform incentives within these companies.
George Washington University law professor Daniel Solove outlines the findings from the New York Attorney General’s investigation into Oath’s violation of COPPA.
Berkeley privacy law professor Chris Hoofnagle shares the history of the FTC’s “KidVid” campaign to rein in advertising to children; and he outlines the relevance of the campaign today, forty years after its inception.
Princeton computer science expert Edward Felten explains the European Commission’s claims against Google for anti-competitive tactics.
Harvard economist Shane Greenstein examines the effect of free information technology, such as the Internet or online apps, on GDP. He proposes that “maybe it is time to focus on the demand-side measures of free goods.”
Stern School of Business economics professor Nicholas Economides provides an overview of the antitrust issues Google is currently facing in the EU. He offers insights from Microsoft’s antitrust challenges from a few decades ago.
Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman examines the Fakhrian v. Google Inc. case which pits a request for removal of defamatory content against Section 230 and the First Amendment.
University of Maryland law professor Frank Pasquale discusses three upcoming conferences that show the importance of “statistics and economics” in future tools of social order such as predictive policing and homeland security.
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Fact Sheets

Search Engines, Advertising, and Auctions

Search engines – such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and a variety of other smaller search engines – help users find what they are looking for online by finding web pages that match user-entered keywords. Search engines are free to users, but typically earn revenue through paid advertising.

Quote

This Deal Helped Turn Google Into an Ad Powerhouse. Is That a Problem?

“If I knew in 2007 what I know now, I would have voted to challenge the DoubleClick acquisition,” — William Kovacic, Professor of Law, George Washington University
William E. Kovacic
The New York Times
September 21, 2020

Featured Article

The European Commission Picks a Fight with Google Android over Business Models

In 2018, the European Commission (EC) ordered Google to change the way its Android software was licensed. The EC’s decision pressures Google to change its business model to mimic Apple.

By: Randal Picker