Digital ads brought Google and Meta under the magnifying glass of both the European Commission and the UK’s Market Authority. They investigate if a deal between the two giants distorted competition in the digital ad business.
Antitrust investigation for digital ads
According to the authorities, the two companies made a deal to establish their dominance over digital advertising.
So, the antitrust lawsuit that the US government filed accuses Google of “illegal monopoly,” both in online search and advertising. The authorities mentioned that Google used the term “Jedi Blue” to refer to the agreement.
Two months ago, documents at the US court revealed that bosses of both Google and Meta’s Facebook involved in the deal.
So, the European Commission started investigating the Jedi Blue agreement. Thus, the commission wants to know if it the companies used it to “restrict and distort competition.”
Now, Margrethe Vestager, the European Competition Commissioner, revealed what was all about. Thus, Vestager said that the companies aimed to “target ads technology competing with Google.” By doing this, it tried “to weaken it and exclude it from displaying ads on publisher’s websites&apps.” So, this might mean that the agreement was thought to get rid of the rivals.
Also, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched their own investigation. Moreover, the European Commission mentioned that the two entities will “closely cooperate.”
The companies deny the allegations
Google was the first to say that these allegations about the agreement were false. So, according to a statement the agreement is a pro-competitive one. They mentioned that it enabled Facebook Audience Network to participate in Google’s Open Bidding program. But they added that this was also possible “with dozens of other companies.”
Also, Facebook came with the same kind of statement. So, the company mentioned that the agreement helped “to increase competition for ad placements.”
Recently, France fined both companies more than 210 million euros.