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Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo

The gorilla in the room: FT.com MD warns of Facebook's threat to publishers

The managing director of the FT.com has sounded a warning to the publishing industry by claiming that Facebook has the potential to dominate the mobile advertising market "almost completely".

Rob Grimshaw described the social networking giant as a "gorilla" and warned that newspaper publishers would face a huge battle to stem mobile advertising spend from being swallowed up almost entirely by Facebook and Google.

Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit, Grimshaw said: "They are kind of a gorilla from an advertising point of view.

"If you look at the online advertising market as a whole, Facebook will make somewhere north of $3bn this year from advertising, Google will make somewhere north of $3bn from online display advertising as well. All US newspaper publishers put together will make about $3bn from online display advertising this year.

"If they are able to bring that to bear on mobile devices they have the potential to dominate the market almost completely.

"You could envisage that the mobile advertising market will be pretty much carved up between Google and Facebook because they are a lot quicker than the publishers, they’re solving the technical issues quicker than the publishers and they’ve got insight, data and scale.

"We do worry about the competition that’s out there."

Speaking on the same panel was Google's head of mobile for EMEA, Ian Carrington, who left the audience under no illusions as to how much stock the company now places in mobile.

Carrington said: "For Google mobile is everything. We are a mobile first company. We see everything going mobile."

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