Google today confirmed it has suspended AppNexus from accessing inventory on its real-time bidded ad exchange for an unspecified period, citing violations of its ad policies. The company would not provide details on exactly how AppNexus breached those policies, which address factors such as ad quality, ad content, and the presence of malware.
In a statement sent to ClickZ, a Google spokesperson said, "We have technologies to detect violations, and when a customer is in breach of our policies, we take action, including potential suspension from the Ad Exchange."
AppNexus did not return requests for comment today, but President Michael Rubenstein told AllThingsD that the company is crafting a new arrangement "whereby AppNexus clients wishing to access Google inventory will have their own individual seats on DoubleClick Ad Exchange, but will continue to serve impressions through AppNexus."
Through that arrangement, AppNexus clients will essentially purchase inventory directly from Google, while using AppNexus's technology to identify and serve inventory and ads, respectively. Advertisers will therefore be required to pay both AppNexus and Google for access to inventory on the exchange, potentially further complicating the purchasing process. From AppNexus's perspective, however, the arrangement would limit the exposure of its other clients should the situation occur again, giving Google the ability to suspend specific buyers rather than AppNexus's full roster.
Google offers its own DSP services thanks to its purchase of Invite Media in June, leading some to speculate Google might be attempting to force AppNexus out of the market or to poach its clients by making life difficult for the firm.
However, with the company already under investigation in Europe for potentially exploiting its dominant position in the search advertising market, it is presumably reluctant to risk accusations of anti-competitive behavior in the display space.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
March 19, 2014