Google advises "we never sell your personal information." But it should add the following disclaimer: But we make an almost unfathomable amount of money from it.
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.
An antitrust lawsuit that the U.S. Department of Justice and eight states filed Tuesday against Google details how its rigorous use of consumer data helped enable the company to dominate all sides of the online advertising industry.
The word "travel" doesn't appear in the 153-page lawsuit (embedded below), but travel advertisers from Booking.com to Expedia and Marriott, as well as just-born startups, are well aware there is an unofficial Google "tax" on their books, namely the added cost they often need to pay to Google to find customers.
In fact, the lawsuit said, "Google keeps at least thirty cents — and sometimes far more— of each advertising dollar flowing from advertisers to website publishers through Google’s ad tech tools," for example.