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Google, Facebook CEOs oversaw a 2018 ad auction deal, states allege


Mark Zuckerberg is the Facebook chairman and chief executive officer (L) along with Sundar Piichai, Google’s CEO.


GoogleAnd Facebook’sChief executives oversaw an illegal deal in 2018 that benefited Facebook. Google’sAd auctions: A Texas-led group of state attorneys general filed an amended antitrust suit against Google Friday.

Facebook recently renamed Meta is not named as a defendant.

New filings show how far the arrangement went, contrary to what was alleged in prior filings. Sheryl Sandberg was Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, but her name has been withheld in the complaint. She called the arrangement “a major deal strategically” in an email to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. According to the state allegations, Sandberg signed the agreement with Sundar Pichai, Google CEO. The sign-off of Sandberg was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The third amended complaint states that Google reached the agreement after Facebook had announced an initiative to help advertisers and publishers get around Google’s advertising fees. According to the states, Google was feared by its long-term monopoly on ad servers if sufficient buyers could get around it fees.

According to the complaint, Google and Facebook conspired illegally to lower prices for publishers and to cut out rival networks. They also manipulated ad auctions managed by publishers under the terms of the agreement.

A Facebook internal document cited in the complaint said that Google partnership would be “relatively inexpensive compared to building/buying in the zero-sum tech game.” Google claimed to have code-named this arrangement “Jedi Blue”, referring to Facebook’s logo.

This group, which included 16 US states and Puerto Rico, claimed that Google’s actions in online advertising sought to preserve its monopoly and violate the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Google previously strongly refuted the Texas-led claims, Director of Economic Strategy Adam Cohen calling them in a 2021 blog postA “misleading attack.” Google spokeswoman said that the company will file a motion for dismissal next week. She also stated that the case is “full” of errors and has no legal merit.

Google spokesperson said the state’s description of the Facebook arrangement was inaccurate. He stated that “We sign hundreds” of agreements annually, none of which require CEO approval.

A spokesperson said that the agreement had been publicized in the past, linking to an Facebook blog postGoogle was named as one its bidding technology partners in 2018

According to a Google spokesperson, the agreement allows Facebook Advertising Network (and advertisers) “to take part in Open Bidding just as over 25 partners.” This helps to increase publisher demand and help publishers make more money, as we explain. here.”

Meta spokeswoman said that the company’s non-exclusive bidding agreements with Google, and similar deals with other bidding platforms have contributed to increased competition in advertising placements. This business relationship allows Meta to provide more value for advertisers and fairly compensate publishers. It results in better outcomes.

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