There has been a recent tendency towards vertical integration as ad networks as well as media agencies, integrate with ad serving companies. For instance, DoubleClick, an ad serving technology provider, is launching an ad exchange in order to enter intermediation; Microsoft and AOL (both web publishers and intermediation platform managers) recently acquired ad serving companies (Atlas/aQuantive and ADTECH respectively); WPP, a media agency acquired an ad serving business (OpenAdstream) itself owning an ad network (24/7 Real Media). Atlas-aQuantive, ADTECH and OpenAdstream-24/7 Real Media, nevertheless, are still providing ad serving services on a stand-alone basis.
Finally, ad serving can also be "bundled" with the sale of ad space when publishers, which are often “web portals”, offer their own inventory directly to advertisers and serve it via in-house ad serving technology provided to advertisers. This model has until now been typically used by internet search engine providers (such as MSN, Yahoo!, Google) to offer ad space on their own web portals (served respectively by AdWords for Google and tailor-made solutions for MSN and Yahoo!).
As indicated in paragraph 19 above, large publishers typically tend to use both direct and intermediated channels to sell their ad space, whereas smaller publishers tend to rely mainly on intermediation30. Both advertisers and publishers tend to use several channels at the same time, in order to get the best deal for their space (publishers) or the best return on the money spent in ad campaigns (advertisers). As an example, the market investigation showed that more than half of the intermediaries who have responded to the Commission questionnaire are aware that their publisher-side customers also sell advertising space directly.
The different channels described above are used to a different degree for search and non-search ads. For search ads, the notifying party estimates that around 80%31 of search advertising is sold directly and 20% is sold through intermediation services. Companies offering search ads directly and via ad networks are Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft as well as a number of smaller competitors. Google offers ad space for search ads both on its own portal google.com (direct sale) and on the result pages resulting from queries in search boxes embedded in its affiliated websites (intermediated sales).
43. For non-search ads (either contextual or display) the supply structure is substantially different. There is no clear leading supplier of ad space but a large
An informal survey carried out by Google showed that [a significant proportion]* of its “online” publishers (i.e. smaller publishers having a standard online contract) and [75-100%]* of “direct” publishers (i.e. larger publishers with directly negotiated contracts) operate their own direct advertising sales teams. The notifying party accordingly submits that these direct advertising sales teams compete directly with Google’s AdSense offering.
There are no industry reports that split online advertising sales between direct and intermediated for search and non-search. The notifying party provided estimates based on Google's own gross revenue split of direct search sales as opposed to intermediated search sales. Google's total gross revenues in 2006 in the EEA for search ads are EUR […]* thereof EUR […]* are sold through its AdSense network, representing […%]* of search ads revenues sales.