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This is also confirmed by the market investigation through the numerous

examples of customers, whether publishers, advertisers or intermediaries, having switched their ad serving provider.

Switching by large customers

  • 155.

    Some market participants have indicated that these switches usually relate to smaller customers for which switching costs may be less significant or in other words that switching customers account for a non significant part of the turnover95 of the ad serving provider since larger customers would be reluctant to switch their ad serving tool provider.

  • 156.

    Larger customer may require more planning and resources to accomplish a switch because they may have integrated their ad servers with their internal systems or developed software to directly call the ad serving tool interface in order to create new ads or access campaign forecasting data. However the switching process involves the same steps (training, deployment and post- deployment) regardless of whether a customer has integrated its ad server with other technologies. Furthermore, large customers, who are sophisticated enough, can integrate their ad server with other systems to streamline certain aspects of the ad sales process as they have resources and technological tools to switch ad serving platforms without disrupting their online advertising operations (using for instance workflow automation tools, interoperable with all ad serving platforms, which maintain user interface).

  • 157.

    Moreover, these larger customers are likely to be more sophisticated from a technological point of view and thus better equipped to implement a switch. Furthermore, these large customers are more likely to exert some degree of bargaining power and have a greater ability to secure competitive pricing and features they desire when contracts are renewed. They are also more likely to consider developing an in-house solution.

  • 158.

    Migrating a large number of individual sites is typically more time- consuming than migrating a single site or a number of sites owned by the same parent company. Thus, relative to an individual publisher, ad networks, which operate numerous independently-owned sites, may take longer to migrate due to the logistical challenges of coordinating a large number of publishers. However, the complexity of any particular switch is more a function of the size, complexity and sophistication of the customer rather than a function of whether it is an ad network or a publisher. This is illustrated by the fact that some of DoubleClick's former customers were online ad networks ([…]* and its 4000 websites, […]* and its 592 websites, […]*, a German-based ad network). DoubleClick has also been able to attract ad network clients such as […]* (from an in-house solution) and […]* (from a competitor).

As indicated earlier, the customers that DoubleClick lost in 2006 accounted for around [<10%]* of its EEA revenues in 2005. However this percentage does not include former Falk customers, amongst which the largest Falk's customers; this share is therefore the lowest bound. In 2007, the customers that DoubleClick lost accounted for [<10%]* of its 2006 EEA revenues.


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