Google, Meta Ad Deal Prompts Antitrust Probes

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According to multiple reports, an advertising deal between Google and Meta is currently under two separate investigations by the European Commission (EC) and the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Jedi Blue, the secret 2018 advertising agreement between Google and Meta, was uncovered in 2020. Details revealed Facebook was given advantages and guarantees during Google ad space auctions if a certain price point was met. This deal came to light after multiple attorneys in Texas filed a lawsuit against the two companies, claiming the deal was unfair for competitors.

After the arrangement surfaced, both European and U.K. regulators began researching if Google and Meta were indeed engaging in anti competitive practices, and harming the interests of consumers.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive, issued an statement on the matter, saying, “We’re concerned that Google may have teamed up with Meta to put obstacles in the way of competitors who provide important online display advertising services to publishers. If one company has a stranglehold over a certain area, it can make it hard for startups and smaller businesses to break into the market — and may ultimately reduce customer choice,”

Google and Facebook faced a great deal of scrutiny over the last decade for a variety of reasons, including privacy issues and selling personal data, but monopolistic business practices have recently become a major point of attention among government officials. If these probes prove the Jedi Blue agreement is truly anti-competitive, both companies could face serious regulatory overhaul and financial penalties.




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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