New INMA report aims to decode ad tech ecosystem for news publishers

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


Decoding the complex ad tech ecosystem, the International News Media Association (INMA) released a report today that aims to educate publishers on the mechanics behind online display advertising, examine the surge in regulatory action that may re-set the table for ad tech, and discuss the interplay between privacy and competition. 

“Understanding Ad Tech and Its Challenges For News Publishers” ties together the back story of advertising technology to today’s regulatory and legislative focus and its role in the ad tech ecosystem. The report synthesises the investigations, legislative initiatives, privacy aspects, and challenges ahead for publishers and ad tech. 

Click here to review and access the report 

Part of INMA’s Digital Platform Initiative, the report by authors Damien Geradin and Dimitrios Katsifis paints a picture of an ad tech landscape in flux, in large part because of investigations and regulatory actions in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and Australia. The inquiries focus on the ad tech supply chain, concerns about conflicts of interest and self-preferencing, data advantages, opacity over ad tech fees, and the need for remedies.

The broader ad tech ecosystem, meanwhile, lacks transparency after more than two decades of unregulated development, the report points out. For example, the middlemen between advertisers and publishers in the indirect programmatic marketplace take between 28% and 35% of an advertiser’s spend, according to conservative estimates. 

Geradin is founding partner of Brussels-based Geradin Partners and a professor of Competition Law & Economics at Tilburg University and visiting professor at University College London. Katsifis is a senior associate at Geradin Partners. Together, their work on tech, telecoms, and media sectors has been cited by competition authorities internationally.

In the INMA report, Geradin and Katsifis distill and document from publicly available material what is happening internationally and zoom in on the most salient aspects for news publishers. They conclude, for example, that regulatory initiatives in the United Kingdom and European Union could impose significant constraints on Big Tech platforms. 

“Understanding Ad Tech and Its Challenges For News Publishers” is available for free to INMA members and for purchase by non-members at

“What we hope to achieve with this report is to decode the ad tech ecosystem, what regulators are looking at, and the complicated intersection of privacy and competition,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “This report will help publishers chart a path through this murky landscape.”

About Dawn McMullan

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