Conde Nast CEO says Facebook and Google are valued partners but they need to be regulated

Key Points
  • Conde Nast CEO Roger Lynch says Facebook and Google, though they are valued partners, need to be regulated.
  • The companies now dominate the digital advertising space in a way that could harm the industry, Lynch says.
  • Lawmakers recently launch antitrust probes into Facebook's and Google's businesses, including advertising.
Conde Nast CEO says valuable partners Facebook and Google need to be regulated

Conde Nast CEO Roger Lynch, in a CNBC interview, called for stricter regulation of Facebook and Google due to their dominance in the digital advertising space. He also called the companies valuable partners in content distribution, underscoring the dilemma for many digital content production companies.

"Facebook's certainly a competitor for us through the ownership of Instagram, and a partner," Lynch said in an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin on Wednesday. "People are still reading our magazines at a high level. What they're doing, in addition, is engaging with our brands across all these other new platforms."

The challenge for Conde Nast, which owns GQ, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, among others, is to establish a relationship with social media platforms that boosts engagement with their content, Lynch said. However, the digital advertising space has become dominated by actors such as Google and Facebook, he added.

"I think there are real issues that need to be looked at, given the dominance of these companies and the impact, and maybe unintended impact, it has on other industries," Lynch said. "From a publishing standpoint or content standpoint, when you have two companies that are taking 90% of the growth in digital advertising and other companies are doing 100% of the content creation and production, there's a little bit that's out of balance there."

On Tuesday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced the expansion of an antitrust probe into Facebook launched in September. The investigation will now include 47 attorneys general from states and U.S. territories.

Also in September, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that 50 attorneys general will investigate Google over possible antitrust violations.

Google captures 74.6% of U.S. search ad spending, according to eMarketer, and the company is expected to lead the U.S. digital ad market with a 37.2% share, totaling $48.05 billion this year. Facebook is the second largest with a 22.1% share, according to eMarketer.