Trade Desk to counter Google's ad grip with tool for publishers

The logo for Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City
The logo for Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Ad-buying software maker Trade Desk Inc (TTD.O) said on Tuesday that it will offer tools to online publishers for the first time in an attempt to help them reduce reliance on global market leader Google.

Trade Desk's Open Path product will enable publishers to solicit bids directly from its advertising clients, thereby cutting out intermediaries, the Ventura, California-based company's Chief Executive Jeff Green told Reuters.

Open Path is similar to an effort by publishers and their vendors around 2015 to advance a technology known as header bidding to loosen the grip of Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google over managing ad auctions. Google reasserted control with Open Bidding, which helps publishers seek bids from many advertisers.

Trade Desk will also stop buying ads for clients through Google's Open Bidding, Green said.

Google has previously said that it welcomes competition and that it generates significant sales for publishers.

Media companies and rivals such as Trade Desk have complained that Google extracts monopoly profits from the online advertising industry. That led the attorney general for Texas and those in some other U.S. states to sue Google in 2020 over its allegedly anticompetitive practices.

Google has denied the allegations and the case is ongoing.

Green said Open Path could succeed because "there's just substantial appetite to go away from Google."

Publishers will pay a fee that covers Trade Desk's costs. In exchange, Green expects they will increase sales by siphoning money now flowing to small ad tech companies. Advertisers will benefit from a more efficient supply chain, enabling them to direct additional money toward ad space, he added.

Trade Desk said the Washington Post, Conde Nast, Nexstar Digital (NXST.O) and Reuters (TRI.TO) are among the initial clients for Open Path.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Alexander Smith

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Thomson Reuters

San Francisco Bay Area-based tech reporter covering Google and the rest of Alphabet Inc. Joined Reuters in 2017 after four years at the Los Angeles Times focused on the local tech industry.