Ad companies profit, users suffer. This is ridiculous.
Basically, his theory is, when a reader clicks to read a story, the page calls for bids from advertisers on the ad space available. This bidding is supposed to take place in a few milliseconds. But, my correspondent says, ad tech companies hold open the bids much, much longer, so more bids come in, driving up the price. Publishers hate this because it makes pages load really slowly, giving readers a terrible experience. But it’s hard to stop because everyone — publisher included — is taking a cut of the winning bid. So publishers and ad tech companies actually have an incentive to make pages load slowly.