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Google sued over alleged anti-competitive practices in online advertising


steven36
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Inform claims Google used anti-competitive practices to shut it out of the online advertising market

 

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Monopoly is more than just a terrific board game for Google, according to Inform's lawsuit

 

An online advertising company is suing Google over what it claims are anti-competitive practices that, ultimately, drove it out of the business.

 

Inform, which was acquired by Bright Mountain Media earlier this year, claims that it was generating revenues of more than $100 million from streaming and pop-up videos between 2014 and 2016.

 

However, it argues that Google "effectively put Inform out of business as a direct result of… illegal conduct", according to the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, published by Law.com.

 

"Google's pattern of anticompetitive practices has thwarted competition," the lawsuit continues, "and excluded Inform and other Google competitors from the relevant markets. The result has been to eviscerate competition in multiple markets, harm consumers, degrade consumer choice and consumer privacy, and stifle innovation."

 

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It goes on to accuse Google of engaging in "blatant and rampant coercive and anticompetitive activities". These accusations include the claim that:

 

  • Google has coerced both consumers and advertisers into using its products;
  • It illegally undermined rivals' products and services;
  • Google tied-in its products, services and applications to the Android operating system;
  • It entered exclusionary agreements restricting the right of companies to provide competing products or services;
  • Google "tortiously interfering with competitors' contracts and business relationships"; and,
  • "Maliciously and artificially imposing restrictions on how ads can be supported and accepted for display, while exempting or whitelisting its own platforms from these rules".

 

In addition, it claimed that Google has "improperly" influenced and infiltrated government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, to further its interests. It has actively sought monopoly power by acquiring ad-tech companies and patent portfolios, it adds. 

 

The lawsuit asserts that Google has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act.

 

One item of evidence cited in the lawsuit includes Google's role in killing off Adobe Flash, which it claims undermined its business by forcing advertisers to migrate to the Google advertising network.

 

"In September 2014, Google began offering Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tools for the Google Display Network17 and DoubleClick Campaign Manager that would create a backup HTML5 video advertisement to run when Flash was disabled or otherwise not supported," the lawsuit argues.

 

It goes on to argue that Google effectively controls HTML 5 via its monopoly online power.

 

More seriously, perhaps, the lawsuit provides some evidence that Google sales staff have leveraged access to Google ad server information in order to poach customers.

 

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"On or about April 4, 2016, the Google team contacted one of Inform's customers, sending them a screenshot to give them a ‘heads up' when Inform's floating video player, with that client's advertisement, appeared next to content that Google misleadingly characterized as objectionable.

 

"Google obtained information about Inform's customer through Inform's forced usage of the Google ad server, took this information to Inform's customer and used it in an attempt to convince Inform's customer that Google offered superior services… This was not an isolated occurrence."

 

It also alleges "Google's purposeful trolling of competitors' services" and "an unethical effort to wrongly discredit Google's competitors", "monopolistic leveraging" and outright anticompetitive behaviour "through a wide range of predatory and exclusionary conduct".

 

Google is facing increasing range of antitrust investigations, legal action and fines. Most recently, the company is facing an antitrust investigation brought by a majority of US state attorneys general

 

The US Department of Justice is examining Google's activities as part of a broader investigation into internet giants. In the UK, meanwhile, the Information Commissioner's Offfice is investigating Google for alleged infractions of GDPR

 

In June, price-comparison website Kelkoo took its case against Google to US antitrust authorities

 

And in recent years, meanwhile, Google has become the fourth-largest net contributor to the EU budget on account of the number and size of its fines for anticompetitive behaviour.

 

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9 hours ago, steven36 said:

"In September 2014, Google began offering Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tools for the Google Display Network17 and DoubleClick Campaign Manager that would create a backup HTML5 video advertisement to run when Flash was disabled or otherwise not supported," the lawsuit argues.

 

I find this allegation dishonest! Flash has been around a long time. In the early days, the websites that displayed video content did all of that by using the Flash technology. But then as it became increasingly popular, it also became more of a target for hackers. Unfortunately, Flash is not all that safe. New security problems are found all the time. So many websites are doing away with using it, in favor of safer ways of displaying video. Even YouTube used to use Flash to show their videos, and now they use HTML5 technology.

9 hours ago, steven36 said:

Inform, which was acquired by Bright Mountain Media earlier this year, claims that it was generating revenues of more than $100 million from streaming and pop-up videos between 2014 and 2016.

 

 

So they generate revenues from POP-UPS VIDEOS! Most users hate pop-ups; pop-ups are synonymous in most cases  to foreced, udesirable and even objectionable ads, linked to spamming, trojans or adware. Obviously, I can't affirm that "Inform" had incurred in this kind of preocedures, I'm simply a pop-up hater and it's even worse when they try to make me watch their stream video ads with exit from site disabled. In these casees all you can do is exit browser.

Edited by luisam
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7 hours ago, luisam said:

Flash is not all that safe. New security problems are found all the time. So many websites are doing away with using it, in favor of safer ways of displaying video. Even YouTube used to use Flash to show their videos, and now they use HTML5 technology.

Nether is HTML5 , They discovered numerous malware incidents that calls into question HTML5’s security reputation.

 

7 hours ago, luisam said:

I'm simply a pop-up hater

 

The malware uses JavaScript commands to hide within HTML5 creative to avoid detection and is designed to lure victims to enter their information in response to a pop-up ad. Their information will then be stored and used for malicious purposes.

 

What makes this malware unique is that it breaks into chunks, making it hard to detect, and reassembles when certain conditions are met. This malware is quickly coursing through the digital marketing and media world and is responsible for over 20 separate incidents affecting online media publishers across the globe and at least 15 ad networks.

 

This attack vector is one of the latest examples of how malware developers are constantly on the lookout for new, creative ways of exploiting the open standards’ basic functionality to launch their attack.

 

However, this is not the first encounter of HTML5 malware. In 2015, as the retreat from Adobe Flash began, security researchers discovered several techniques attackers could use to take advantage of HTML5 code. Those techniques involved the use of APIs, which in turn employed the same obfuscation-de-obfuscation JavaScript commands in delivering drive-by malware. The following year, the malware was used to freeze computers and secretly obtain user’s personal information, including phone numbers. This year’s incidents are different as they require no interaction with the victim and are designed with a higher level of coordination compared to earlier versions.

 

HTML5: a devil in disguise

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3290420/html5-a-devil-in-disguise.html

 

So today in 2019 shows Google sold  the world on a  bald face lie , there is no way to patch HTML5 without them patching  the whole browser Flash was more safe and less annoying  because  you could  turn  it off  in Firefox or not install it.  HTML5 is a baked in security  and privacy problem  with Google's DRM on paid and some ad supported video platforms that uses HTML5 to boot .

 

Back in 2011 they said  HTML5 would prevent Cross-Origin Resource Sharing, today ad platforms  can fake 3rd party  cookies  as 1st party cookies  with canonical usernames  even.

https://mashable.com/2011/04/29/html5-web-security/

 

By 2014:  Working with Cross-Origin Resource Sharing APIs in HTML5

https://www.htmlgoodies.com/HTML5/other/working-with-cross-origin-resource-sharing-apis-in-html5.html

 

By 2015 : HTML5: Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) Vulnerabilities

https://www.gracefulsecurity.com/html5-cross-origin-resource-sharing-cors-vulnerabilities/

 

Its just like anything else when lots people starts using the hackers exploit it  too . HTML5  became a security  problem 5 years before flash ever got phased out.    Even after everything  Google said about HTML5 has been debunked  you still believe there HTML5 marketing  horse :shit: ?:lmao:

 

Here a new JS/ HTML5  Fileless  Malware they found that can be exploited in anything that has it.

 

JSLess: A Tale of a Fileless Javascript Memory-Resident Malware : Information Security Practice and Experience,15th International Conference, ISPEC 2019, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 26–28, 2019, Proceedings, pp.113-131

 

New computing paradigms, modern feature-rich programming languages and off-the-shelf software libraries enabled the development of new sophisticated malware families. Evidence of this phenomena is the recent growth of fileless malware attacks. Fileless malware or memory resident malware is an example of an Advanced Volatile Threat (AVT). In a fileless malware attack, the malware writes itself directly onto the main memory (RAM) of the compromised device without leaving any trace on the compromised device’s file system. For this reason, fileless malware presents a difficult challenge for traditional malware detection tools and in particular signature-based detection.

 

Moreover, fileless malware forensics and reverse engineering are nearly impossible using traditional methods. The majority of fileless malware attacks in the wild take advantage of MS PowerShell, however, fileless malware are not limited to MS PowerShell. In this paper, we designed and implemented a fileless malware by taking advantage of new features in Javascript and HTML5. The proposed fileless malware could infect any device that supports Javascript and HTML5.

 

It serves as a proof-of-concept (PoC) to demonstrate the threats of fileless malware in web applications. We used the proposed fileless malware to evaluate existing methods and techniques for malware detection in web applications. We tested the proposed fileless malware with several free and commercial malware detection tools that apply both static and dynamic analysis. The proposed fileless malware bypassed all the anti-malware detection tools included in our study. In our analysis, we discussed the limitations of existing approaches/tools and suggested possible detection and mitigation techniques.

 

Source:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337342081_JSLess_A_Tale_of_a_Fileless_Javascript_Memory-Resident_Malware


PS: if you hate popup ads wait tell you see those new Masthead ad  for YouTube that  Google made freaking full screen ads :rofl:

 

 

Edited by steven36
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