Skift Take

Deep-pocketed Google clearly didn't appease suffering travel advertisers in any meaningful way because it didn't have to — it's Google. Don't look for Google to find religion in terms of being a more collaborative partner perhaps until regulators would take it down a peg.

Series: Dennis' Online Travel Briefing

Dennis' Online Travel Briefing

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Executive Editor and online travel rockstar Dennis Schaal will bring readers exclusive reporting and insight into the business of online travel and digital booking, and how this sector has an impact across the travel industry.

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This Week In Online Travel You are a top executive making all the important decisions at a major online travel company, and you’ve spent billions of dollars on Google advertising. Along comes the pandemic and you ask Google for a break on your outstanding bills because even your own business partners aren’t paying their invoices to you, either. What was it like behind the scenes in these talks? You’d figure that Google would hand out a few favors to some of its biggest advertisers. Nope. I spoke privately this week with a C-suite executive, who declined to be identified for obvious reasons, about his frustrations in negotiating with Google. The search engine forgave nothing on outstanding bills, and offered a slightly deeper discount than the travel brand already had on future advertising on a related platform, but to get the lower rates the volume commitments would be so large as to be impractical to take advantage of. Until It Isn't Google was insincere in the bargaining, the executive said, although he used a harsher term, referring to those future discounts that the company would never use. “I didn’t expect anything to come out of it. They have a monopoly, I mean, let’s be honest. We are all grownups, and they leverage their market power and that’s what they do. That’s their right — until it is