Google, Facebook CEOs accused of collusion to dominate advertising market

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Google and Facebook are being sued for colluding attempts to gain an advantage in the advertising market. Tech giants already dominate the space due to their wide reach and user base. A lawsuit has been filed in the companies’ home country of the United States. The lawsuit accuses the CEOs of both Alphabet and Facebook (now Meta) of being aware of the deal. It even claims that Google CEO Sundar Pichai signed the deal.

According to a report in the Associated Press, the lawsuit was filed in December last year, but new unverified documents have emerged. The lawsuit points to an email thread where Mark Zuckerberg was also seen in conversation with other Facebook executives about the deal. The lawsuit also claimed that Sundar Pichai himself had signed the deal.

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said “it’s a big deal strategically” in the same mail thread that also included Zuckerberg. Once both parties managed to agree to the terms of the deal, the team responsible sent a mail directly to Zuckerberg, according to the lawsuit.

What is the deal about?

The deal was reportedly a way for Google to counter header bidding. Publishers look for header bid positions to earn more money from ads on their websites. The leading company of the ad sector, Facebook has provided this feature to its users. The deal was intended to prevent Facebook from providing the designation to its publishers and receive “information, speed and other benefits” from Google in return.

According to Google (via AP), the lawsuit is “full of inaccuracies and lacks legal merit.”

Meta spokesman Chris Sgro said Friday that the company’s ad bidding agreement with Google and similar agreements with other bidding platforms “helped increase competition for ad placements.”

“These business relationships enable Meta to deliver greater value to advertisers while properly compensating publishers, resulting in better outcomes for everyone,” Sgro said.

The charge of accusing the CEO of Google, Facebook of dominating the advertising market first appeared on BGR India.

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