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  • 68.

    A separate market for intermediation in online advertising can be defined in view of the fact that there is no substitute for the service provided by intermediaries for the sale of smaller publishers' inventory and for the sale of (at least) part of the remnant inventory of larger publishers that also use the direct sales channel.

  • 69.

    However, since the availability of remnant inventory is continuously changed by large publishers (in view of the monetization opportunities), the competitive analysis will take into account the fact that intermediated sales can be constrained by the price of direct sales.

  • 70.

    Finally, the Commission investigation also revealed that, in the intermediation market, a further sub division may have to be made between search and non- search advertising. An intermediary could be offering its service for the sale of ad space resulting from a search query or for contextual or non-contextual non- search ads. Some ad networks can provide search intermediation because they own a search "tool" (like Google AdSense, Yahoo! or Vcmedia - Valueclick) while others outsource the search tool from third parties (e.g. from Google or Yahoo!). Intermediaries who do not own or do not outsource a search tool cannot provide such service (e.g. Zanox, Advertising.com).

  • 71.

    From a demand side perspective, as already mentioned in paragraph 51, advertisers consider that search and non-search ads could be viewed as substitutable despite the different appearance and targeting properties. Hence, in their view, search and non-search intermediation could be substitutable in as much as they both provide ad space for placing their ads.

  • 72.

    Nevertheless, the Commission investigation provided no elements on the basis of which it could be inferred that the service provided by intermediaries without a search tool is not substitutable with the service provided by intermediaries that have the possibility to provide search advertising.

  • 73.

    For the purpose of the present decision, it is not necessary to conclude as to the existence of a further subdivision of the market for intermediation in online advertising as, under any of these market definitions, the transaction would not give rise to any competition concerns.

      • 6.1.3.

        Provision of online display ad serving technology

    • 74.

      As explained in paragraph 26, a particular feature of online advertising is the need for publishers and advertisers to use ad serving tools. A market, therefore, has developed for the provision of such tools and/or ad serving services to advertisers and publishers.

  • 75.

    The notifying party confirmed that the market for display ad serving refers to the technology offered to ad agencies and advertisers and to publishers for the delivery of display ads and reporting on the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

  • 76.

    Whereas the technical process of serving display ads is not fundamentally different from the technical process of text-based ad serving, the notifying party stated that there are significant differences in the level of functionalities available to customers. It argued that this is confirmed by the fact that display ad


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