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By Rob Copeland
The global pandemic dealt a rare losing hand to Google’s venerable digital advertising operation, pushing quarterly revenue down compared with a year earlier for the first time in company history. ( Tech giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google reported earnings. Follow our coverage for results and analysis. )
The search-engine giant posted a $2.6 billion, or 8%, drop in advertising for the second-quarter from a year earlier, as some of Google’s biggest advertisers, including travel companies and consumer brands, cut back on spending amid economic uncertainty.
In all, Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc., reported advertising revenue of $29.9 billion for the three months through June. That metric, which includes ads on Google’s own properties as well as those placed on other websites, fell short of the $32.5 billion haul a year earlier. The weakness appeared to have been driven mostly by Google’s traditional venues such as search; the YouTube video unit, for instance, posted a modest rise in revenue. Google’s advertising revenue had risen every quarter of the company’s 22-year history, so the reversal is notable. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the drop in advertising revenue, and investors were mostly undisturbed. Alphabet shares rose about 1% in after-hours trading.
Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai …
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