Antitrust officials in the European Union and the UK have launched parallel investigations into the 2018 online display advertising deal between Google and Facebook, adding to a long list of regulatory challenges facing the US tech giant.
Alphabet unit Google and Facebook, whose parent company is now called Meta, have defended the ‘Jedi Blue’ deal, which the European Union says could thwart ad tech rivals and hurt publishers in advertising online performance. Is.
So-called header bidding allows publishers, such as news providers, to provide advertising space to multiple exchanges and networks at once, potentially generating more revenue.
The JD Blue agreement allows Meta, through its Meta Audience Network, to participate in Google’s Open Bidding Program, a competitor to Header Bidding.
“Google’s competing technology for open bidding could be targeted in an effort to undermine it and prevent it from displaying ads on publisher websites and apps,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Friday.
While one angle of the EU investigation focuses on the deal, another examines whether Google is abusing its dominance, which could mean Facebook off the hook.
“This is a publicly documented pro-competitive agreement that allows the Facebook Audience Network (FAN) to participate in our open bidding program with dozens of other companies,” Google said in response to inquiries.
“Meta’s non-exclusive auction agreement with Google and our similar agreements with other auction platforms have helped increase competition for ad placements,” Meta said in a statement.
Google, which has already fallen victim to more than 8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in EU antitrust fines over the past 10 years, and Facebook are both under scrutiny from the bloc’s executive over other issues and up to 10% may face a fine of Rs. Their global business to break their rules.
Britain’s antitrust authority is also investigating the deal, and the EU’s competition watchdog said it intended to cooperate closely with its British counterpart.
Texas and 15 other US states have alleged in an antitrust lawsuit against Google that the deal with Facebook was done as part of its efforts to counter header bidding, which publishers use more through advertising on their websites. wanted to earn revenue.
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