Google’s Cookie Phase-Out Delayed Again

5 minute read

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Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome has hit yet another roadblock. The company announced further delays while it works to address concerns raised by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

CMA’s Concerns

In 2022, the CMA highlighted that the removal of third-party cookies in Chrome would negatively impact Google’s competitors, giving it an unfair advantage. As a result, the CMA called on Google to revise its approach to the phase-out. Their concerns primarily revolve around:

  • Google’s governance of their intended replacement of third-party cookies, the Privacy Sandbox
  • Potential advantages for Google’s tools over other third-party cookie alternatives
  • The design, use, and viability of Privacy Sandbox tools

Google has complied, but as it currently stands, the company has not yet been able to adequately address all of the highlighted concerns from the CMA.

Ongoing Challenges

Google acknowledges its continuous struggle to find a solution. As Google explains:

“We recognize that there are ongoing challenges related to reconciling divergent feedback from the industry, regulators and developers, and will continue to engage closely with the entire ecosystem. It’s also critical that the CMA has sufficient time to review all evidence including results from industry tests, which the CMA has asked market participants to provide by the end of June. Given both of these significant considerations, we will not complete third-party cookie deprecation during the second half of Q4.”

This marks the third delay in Google’s plan to phase out cookie tracking, causing uncertainty and angst among advertisers. While Google is confident its Privacy Sandbox proposals will minimize the impact on campaigns, the industry shift is still expected to be significant.

Google needs more time to build consensus between regulators, developers, and ad executives. As Google works to address the CMA’s concerns, the timeline for the cookie phase-out remains unclear. Stay informed and adaptable as the situation evolves.

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