Google forces compnies to buy back their own brands according to Benjamin Edelman

Harvard business professor and consultant Benjamin Edelman said that the giant search engine Google have been forcing companies to buy back their own brands by placing a “toll booth” on company websites, which makes the companies pay per click every time visitors their site through the ad.

“Life is not so good if you’re an advertiser as you have to spend millions of dollars for your own trademark,” said Edelman on his speech at the Economic Club of Canada this week.

Google uses an auction for every query to sell ad space. The highest bidder gets top placement in the advertising section above the search results.

According to Mr. Edelman, if a company, such as Air Canada doesn’t buy the ad space, when a user Googles “Air Canada,” the first listing will be an ad for whatever airline-related company bid the highest click fee.

Air Canada is, of course, able to bid on its own query, but Mr. Edelman said this unfair.

“It’s an absolute shakedown,” Edelman said. “They have to pay Google the money or else they won’t be on the list where they very much belong for a user who is clearly asking for this very trademark.”

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