Slowing digital-ad growth could force change on Google

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google has dominated the online ad market for years, but its first quarter earnings report suggests that competitors may be nipping at its heels.

Investors pushed down the stock of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, more than 7% in after-hours trading Monday after it reported revenue that fell short of analyst expectations. That dip could shave more than $65 billion from Alphabet’s market value if it holds when the markets open Tuesday.

Google’s advertising revenue, its key moneymaker, grew by 15 percent to $30.7 billion — slower than investors had hoped. Its digital-ad rivals Facebook and Amazon, meanwhile, both reported strong earnings last week, adding to the investor surprise when Alphabet stumbled despite a strong economy.

Alphabet executives deflected concerns of growing competition on a conference call with analysts Monday.

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