Ad-Tech Stocks Surge After Google Delays Phaseout of Cookies

The shares of advertising technology companies soared on Thursday after Alphabet Inc.’s Google delayed the phaseout of so-called cookies in its Chrome browser that allows marketers to use web data from activity on other sites.

Trade Desk Inc., which operates a platform for marketers to manage digital ads, jumped as much as 19%, the most in more than seven months. American depositary receipts of peer Criteo SA rose 14%, while PubMatic Inc. shares gained 18%.

Ad-Tech Stocks Surge After Google Delays Phaseout of Cookies

The delay of Google’s changes to late 2023 is a relief for ad-technology companies that have come under pressure while navigating a raft of privacy laws and changes in recent years. While companies have been scrambling to create alternatives to web cookies, investors have been concerned about the uncertain impact Google’s Chrome move would have on businesses involved in selling targeted ads online.

“Today’s announcement helps to alleviate near-term concerns and some of the pressure from this bear thesis that has been an overhang on the industry,” RBC analyst Matthew Hedberg wrote in a research note.

Google is still planning to replace third-party cookies with a new system called Federated Learning of Cohorts, or FLoC, but acknowledged that more time is needed to get the transition right, according to a blog post from Google’s Chrome privacy engineering director Vinay Goel.

“We appreciate Google’s decision to create more time for the industry to prepare,” Megan Clarken, Criteo’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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