Google parent Alphabet posts record profits again

Google’s parent company Alphabet recorded record profits for a third consecutive quarter, powered by a rise in advertising spending as more consumers shopped online during the pandemic.

The company revealed it had surpassed expectations for quarterly revenue, despite being hit by new restrictions on how they track customers online.

Alphabet, the world’s largest provider of search and video ads, saw its revenue rise to $65.1bn (£47.29bn), while Google’s sales jumped 41% to $53.1bn (£38.58bn).

Meanwhile, Alphabet’s quarterly profit hit $18.93bn (£13.75bn), delivering a third-straight quarter of record profit for the company.

Alphabet’s shares have risen 24% in six months and 62% in the year to date, strongly outperforming the market as a whole, as consumers have spent more of their lives online during the pandemic.

Advertisement Image: The US Department of Justice is preparing to sue Google over its advertising technology business practices citing antitrust violations. Pic: AP

But investors have been nervous about recent changes to the way the company tracks users. In April, Apple introduced a new privacy notification that enabled users to prevent companies such as Google and Facebook from tracking their activity on other apps and websites.

The update was included in iOS 14.5, making it mandatory for iPhone apps to gain the device owner’s permission before collecting this additional data.

More from Business

Key budget announcements: Alcohol, fuel and tax changes revealed in chancellor’s statement

Budget 2021 live: Rishi Sunak delivers budget – with all eyes on potential ‘rabbit out of a hat’

Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak sets out plans for ‘new economy’ after COVID – but issues warnings on inflation and tough months ahead

The change has already impacted Snapchat and Facebook’s results this quarter, the companies said this week.

Google also faces heat from US lawmakers and campaign groups who argue the company has too much power.

Follow the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker.

In a court filing by a group of US states that was unsealed this week, the group claims the search giant abuses its monopoly power in online advertising to limit competition and harm consumers.

“Google now uses its immense market power to extract a very high tax of 22 to 42% of the ad dollars otherwise flowing to the countless online publishers and content producers such as online newspapers, cooking websites, and blogs who survive by selling advertisements on their websites and apps,” the states said in the unredacted filing.

Last month, Bloomberg News reported that the US Department of Justice was preparing to sue Google over its advertising technology business practices, citing antitrust violations.