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Google dominance in Australia online advertising harms businesses - regulator

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SYDNEY, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google dominates Australia's online advertising market to the point of harming publishers, advertisers and consumers, the country's antitrust regulator said, calling for new rules to stop "anti-competitive self-preferencing".

A report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), published on Tuesday, said more than 90% of clicks on advertisements traded through the Australian "ad tech" supply chain passed through at least one Google service in 2020.

"Google has used its vertically integrated position to operate its ad tech services in a way that has, over time, led to a less competitive ad tech industry," ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement, released alongside the report.

"This conduct has helped Google to establish and entrench its dominant position in the ad tech supply chain. We recommend rules be considered to manage conflicts of interest, prevent anti-competitive self-preferencing, and ensure rival ad tech providers can compete on their merits." (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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