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FOCUS-Google stymies media companies from chipping away at its data dominance

OAKLAND, Calif., June 30 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google upended plans by European media companies to block it from harvesting data about their readers and slash some of its dominance in online advertising, seven people involved in the talks said this month. Publishers had expected to use data privacy measures going into effect Aug. 15 to bar Google from storing insights about readers, sapping the data advantage that has enabled it to dominate a market filled with advertisers hungry for information to target potential customers. But Google said it will cut off publishers from a lucrative flow of ads if they follow through with curbing its data collection. IAB Chief Executive Townsend Feehan said that pushed by major publishers, the consortium last year agreed to ask users for two separate permissions previously tied together: one to be shown personalized ads, the other to have their personal data collected in a profile. Some websites and apps planned to omit the second permission. It "doesn't change any of our policies for publishers, including our consent policy, which helps ensure users have transparency into and control over how their data is being collected and used to serve personalized ads," Bindra said. Some Google rivals such as advertiser software maker MediaMath said they may split the data permissions, giving publishers another way to undercut Google. But they still would have to forgo its bountiful ad supply.

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