Facebook and Google reportedly reached a settlement that reduced advertising competition
Damages your chances of surviving antitrust cases
Antitrust cases against Facebook and Google could have some additional fuel. The New York Times says it obtained documents from the Texas antitrust lawsuit explaining a “Sweetheart deal “(first mentioned by the Wall Street Journal) Google gave to Facebook in 2018, allegedly reducing advertising competition. Nicknamed “Jedi Blue,” it allegedly gave Facebook favors in ad header bids, where sites could solicit ad space offers from multiple exchanges at once, in exchange for supporting Google’s open bidding approach to selling those Ads.
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The terms gave Facebook inherent advantages, according to the Times. Facebook had more time to bid for ads, direct billing agreements with the sites that host the ads and help from Google to understand ad audiences. As part of the deal, Facebook said it would bid on at least 90 percent of sales auctions. ads when it could identify users, and promised minimum spending levels of up to $ 500 million per year. It also asked Google to avoid using bid information to skew ad auctions in its favor.
Other Google advertising partners did not get Such a good deal, according to partners who spoke with The Texas complaint effectively accused Google of guaranteeing a set number of earned ads for Facebook and putting its rivals at a disadvantage.
Facebook and Google have already rejected ideas. Jedi Blue is anti-competitive. A spokesman for Facebook claimed that doing business with Google “helps increase competition in advertising” and that arguments to the contrary are “unfounded.” Meanwhile, a Google spokesperson said the Texas lawsuit “misrepresents” the deal and other aspects of its advertising business. The search firm posted a blog post outlining their objections.
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But that won’t necessarily bother regulators, and there are even suggestions that the two tech giants were aware of the potential of an audit. A clause in the deal called for the two to “work together and help” if an investigation into their practices was conducted, and the deal mentioned “antitrust law” at least 20 times. It’s not surprising if Texas, other states, and the DOJ use Jedi Blue to justify regulatory action against Facebook and Google, no matter how much the companies think they are right.
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Engadget / TechConflict.Com
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