It seems Google is skating on thin ice in its attempts to shield its targeted advertising business (worth $20bn) which relies on data collected through one Google service, like Gmail, to deliver content through another, such as banner ads. Publishers are crying foul because Google's use of data enables it to serve adverts that are far more valuable than can be delivered through smaller networks. 

With such a huge amount at stake, it's hardly surprising that Google will go to a great deal of trouble to protect itself. However, as was shown by the recent Facebook data breach, public opinion and hence the opinion of lawmakers can swing away surprisingly quickly. 

It would be good for publishers if the playing field were levelled. A stronger financial position would strengthen their reach and potentially help "real" publications deliver better content. 

That would be great news for the entire communications industry and would help address the "fake news" issue that is causing so much trouble for genuine Subject Matter Experts.