Facebook and Google allege ‘secret deal’ to carve out advertising empire


Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and his counterpart at Google, Sundar Pichai, have secretly signed an agreement between the two tech giants to carve out a digital ad market in 2018, according to newly disclosed charges by state’s top law enforcement officials.

Previously, Zuckerberg was ranked No. 1. 2, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is reported to have signed the deal, after she led Google’s online ad sales team and took to the social network, according to allegations in a group lawsuit. Attorney General of the State.

But according to newly unresolved court filings, Zuckerberg and Pichai signed a backroom deal in 2018 that, according to court papers, promises that Meta affiliate Facebook will bid and win a fixed percentage of ad bidding.

The original complaint alleges that Google reached Facebook after the social media company emerged as the dominant online advertising competitor in 2017. The two tech behemoths have since been accused of hitting an “illegal deal” to give Facebook “information, speed and other advantages.” Social networking is an advertising auction rather than a backlash from its competing threats.

The newly revised, non-revised version of the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday, specifically alleges Sandberg helped negotiate the deal before bringing it to Zuckerberg, which approved the deal. Sandberg is said to have lobbied his boss to fix the deal, calling it a “big deal strategically.”

“We are almost ready to sign and need your approval to proceed,” Sandberg and his team said in an email to Zuckerberg in a complaint.

Although the names of Zuckerberg and Sandberg have been redesigned, their titles are not.

“Facebook CEO [REDACTED] The COO wanted to meet him [REDACTED] And their other executives before making a decision, ”the complaint said.

Sandberg, who led Google’s ad sales team before being hired by Facebook, is reported to be the dealmaker.
Getty Images

It is alleged that the September 2018 agreement between Google and Facebook bears the signature of Sandberg and Google’s senior vice president.

“Google CEO Sundar Pichai has personally signed the terms of the agreement,” according to the lawsuit.

The states renewed the original complaint in November. The revised version included many corrections. But a federal judge in New York ordered states to repeal most of the amendments, saying it was in the public interest to disclose the information.

The newly unsettled suit claims that Google has deceived publishers and advertisers over the years on how to price and execute its advertising auctions by creating secret algorithms that increase prices for buyers while reducing some advertisers’ revenue.

Similarly, the complaint, citing internal correspondence from Google employees, used the extra money derived from increased advertising prices to properly expand its monopoly. Some Google workers said they use “inside information” to grow the business, according to the suit.

Charges Texas, 14 other states and Puerto Rico’s attorney general have sued Google in federal court for antitrust violations. Facebook and its parent company, Meta Platforms, are not defendants in the lawsuit.

In December 2020, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing him of using anti-competitive methods to dominate the digital advertising space.

The post reached out to Alphabet-owned Google and meta platforms for comment.

Both companies had earlier denied to Politico that the system was illegal. A Google spokesperson said the lawsuit was “fraught with mistakes.”

Ukraine - 2022/01/08: In this photo description, the Google logo is displayed on a smartphone.  (Photo illustration by Igor Golovniyov / SOPA Images / Getty Images by Lightrate)
Both companies insist that there is nothing illegal in the deal.
SOPA Images / LightRocket by Get

A Google spokesperson told Politico that the company plans to file a motion in court next week seeking to dismiss the lawsuit.

“Despite three attempts to re-write Attorney General Paxton’s complaint, it is still fraught with errors and lack of legal merit,” Google spokesman Peter Schottenfels said.

“Our advertising technologies help websites and apps fund their content and enable small businesses to reach consumers around the world.”

“There is strong competition in online advertising, which has reduced advertising technology fees and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”

Meta Platforms, Inc. Also released a statement justifying the arrangement with Google.

“Meta’s non-exclusive bidding agreement with Google and similar agreements we have with other bidding platforms have helped to increase competition for ad placements,” said Christopher Sgro, a Meta spokesman.

“These business relationships enable the meta to deliver more value to advertisers while fairly compensating for publishers, resulting in better results for all.”

Poland - 2022/01/03: In this photo description the meta logo is displayed on the smartphone with the Facebook logo in the background.  (Photo by Omar Marquez / SOPA Images / LightRocket by Getty Images)
Both Facebook and Google are under scrutiny by regulators in the US and abroad, claiming they are monopolies.
SOPA Images / LightRocket by Get

The original December 2020 lawsuit was filed at the same time the Justice Department filed its own antitrust complaint against Google. DOJ claims that Google has long violated the law in its quest to remain a “gateway to the Internet” and has disadvantaged competitors in its attempt to sell more online search ads.

Last month, more than 200 newspapers sued Facebook and Google, alleging that they had unfairly manipulated the advertising market and wasted their revenues.

Both Facebook and Google face legal challenges from regulators, alleging they have grown too powerful in the tech space by taking unfair advantage over other companies.

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission granted permission to pursue a lawsuit against Facebook because the judge rejected the company’s request to say it was a monopoly.

In June, New York State, Tennessee, Utah, and North Carolina joined together to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google over the management of its mobile app store.

Foreign governments have two tech firms in their eyes.

Earlier this month, French regulators imposed a total of $ 238 million on Google and Facebook for allegedly violating European privacy laws by not allowing users the opportunity to reject data-tracking cookies.

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