Digital advertising: Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica join forces to counter Gafam


Telecom rivals Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica are uniting to resist the dominance of Google, Meta and Amazon in the digital advertising market.

© Getty — Carl Court

In the eyes of the European telecom giants, unity is strength. Indeed, Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica have decided to join forces to launch a joint venture. This will be 25% owned by each of the four operators involved in this alliance, which will be based in Belgium and managed by an independent management, under the control of a supervisory board appointed by the shareholders. This new structure has already received the blessing of the European Commission.

By joining forces in a joint venture, Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica plan to deploy “a digital marketing technology platform”which emphasizes “the personal data protection needs of consumers”. To do this, this solution, still under development at present, will be based on the consumer’s explicit consent, a concept that is at the heart of the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but too often ignored by the American giants. . The operators involved in the project said that the platform had been tested last year alongside Deutsche Telekom in Germany. New experiments in France and Spain are planned to improve the system.

The Gafam under pressure in Europe and the United States

With their approach, the four European operators clearly intend to position themselves against Gafam, while the global digital advertising market is locked by Google, Meta and Amazon, which claim more than 50% of it. This domination is in the sights of the European and American authorities, who denounce abuses of a dominant position stifling competition.

To put an end to it, the European Union has enacted new rules that the American digital behemoths will have to respect within the framework of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). In the event of non-compliance with this new legislation, the abusive behavior of groups such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, or TikTok could be sanctioned by fines ranging from 6 to 20% of their turnover. global.

The tone is not softer on the other side of the Atlantic. Google can testify to this since the group is facing a complaint from the US government and several states, including California and New York, which want to force the Mountain View firm to dismantle its advertising activity, which represents nearly 80% of its income. .

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