Trade Desk Shares Fall 20% in Two Days After Google Policy Update


The Trade Desk rings the closing bell for the Nasdaq Stock Market in celebration of its September 2016 IPO.

Source: Nasdaq

Shares of ad tech company The Trade Desk have fallen 20% since Tuesday’s close, after Google issued its latest guidance Wednesday on its promise not to use technologies that track people individually across the internet.

Trade Desk shares fell 8% on Thursday, from a decline on Wednesday to a total of 20.4% less than Tuesday’s close.

Trade Desk technology helps brands and agencies reach specific audiences through media formats and devices. The company has also led the formation of Unified ID 2.0, which will rely on email addresses as the basis for unique identifiers to help target ads to people. (Email addresses are obscured.) Trade Desk has painted the identifier as a superior alternative to cookies, which Google plans to stop supporting in its Chrome browser by 2022.

But Google’s post on Wednesday warned against solutions “like PII charts based on people’s email addresses.” The post read: “We do not believe that these solutions will meet the growing privacy expectations of consumers, nor will they withstand rapidly evolving regulatory constraints and therefore are not a sustainable investment in the long term.”

That is likely to raise some questions for investors in terms of the future of these identifiers.

Google said its post was about how its own ad products would work and that for now it will not restrict what third parties do within Chrome. But, in theory, Google could restrict that activity on Chrome in the future.

KeyBanc analysts said in a note that restricting alternative identifiers for Google products “would clearly favor Google over the open Internet and pose an interesting dilemma for regulators: how should consumer privacy be balanced with market power? ? ”

In a blog post Thursday afternoon, The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green said he had been getting dozens of calls about what the Google post means for his business and the open internet. “Not much has changed,” he wrote. “But what has changed will ultimately turn out positive.”

“With this announcement, Google is duplicating its own properties, such as search and YouTube, and adding bricks to the walls around those properties,” Green wrote. “The trade-off is that Google no longer values ​​ad serving as much on the rest of the internet, certainly not as much as it once did.”

Other ad tech pairs have also dropped dramatically since Wednesday morning’s announcement. PubMatic shares are down 27.5%, Magnite is down 21.5%, Viant is down 17.2%, LiveRamp is down 14.7% and Criteo is down 7.8% since closing Tuesday.

The declines also come amid a slide in the high-tech Nasdaq Composite, which was down more than 2% on Thursday afternoon.

Some analysts said their views on stocks in the sector have not changed after Wednesday’s release. BMO downgraded LiveRamp, noting that “it’s too hot in the kitchen” and also raised its price target on Criteo.

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