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Proceedings: Google, Facebook executives colluded to operate an advertising auction

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Top Google and Facebook executives are one of the online advertising markets, according to a newly revised (and less edited) version of the 2020 multistate proceedings directed by the Texas Attorney General for Google. General Ken Paxton involved in efforts to limit competition in the department.

Importance: Earlier versions of the proceedings alleged collusion between the two companies, but the newly published document sheds new light on an effort called “Jedi Blue” and the degree of executive involvement. I guessed it.

Details: The proceedings themselves deal with a variety of Google practices, but much attention has been focused on discussions with Facebook, especially on how to automatically buy and sell online ads, called “header bidding.”

Header bidding allows publishers to allow many ad exchanges to bid on inventory at the same time before the ad server releases the inventory to the highest bidders. This, in theory, helps publishers sell at more competitive prices. The complaint basically claims that Google mediated a transaction with Facebook to support an alternative to header bidding called “open bidding.” Instead of forcing them to use Google’s open bidding technology, which reduces ad serving fees, there is stock there to bid so they can make more money.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg called the collaboration with Google a “strategic big deal” in one email, suggesting that at another point CEO Mark Zuckerberg needs to approve the deal. I am.

“Google CEO Sundar Pichai also personally approved the terms of the transaction,” the lawsuit said. The proceedings also quoted a 2015 email in which Google employees expressed fear that Google’s exchanges may actually have to compete with other advertising exchanges. The latest version of the proceedings can be found here (PDF).

Flashback: Paxton first announced in December 2020 that it would take Google to court.

Paxton is leading the proceedings with the addition of many other Republican state AGs. The first proceeding accused Google of establishing a secret agreement with Facebook to avoid conflict with the ad tech business, although the details of the allegations were extensively edited.

Be wise: Paxton, a controversial figure in his own rights, separately faces allegations of bribery, job abuse and other crimes from those who worked under him. .. He also led a multilateral effort that failed to pass the 2020 elections to President Trump, invalidating the Supreme Court’s important swing-state election results.

What they say: “Unedited complaints in advertising technology proceedings need to rest the debate that Google wins just because the product is” better “,” thousands of newspapers said.

“Anti-competitive side deals and market manipulation are not considered innovations. Google has deliberately restrained news publishers’ finances for years and then asked us to thank them. “He added.

Opposite: Companies, on the other hand, have problems with the idea that their efforts are secret or inadequate.

“We sign hundreds of contracts each year that don’t require CEO approval, and this was no exception,” a Google representative said in a statement. “Contrary to AGPaxtons’ allegations, the facts of this agreement were never a secret that it was widely published.” A meta-non-exclusive bidding agreement with Google, and similar agreements with other bidding platforms. Helped to intensify advertising competition. A Meta spokeswoman said in an email: “These business relationships allow Meta to offer more value to advertisers while at the same time rewarding publishers with significant rewards, with better results for everyone.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.axios.com/google-facebook-conspired-manipulate-ad-auctions-states-lawsuit-1ef8d50f-1891-4cf3-8399-3487ad66588a.html

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