Google and Facebook are having trouble with Jedi Blue
Google and Facebook are having trouble with Jedi Blue


The European Commission and the United Kingdom have announced formal antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google's display advertising activities.

The investigation will be overseen by the European Union Competition Authority and the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority.

The investigation focuses on collusion between Facebook and Google as part of an internal deal called Jedi Blue, concluded in September 2018.

The deal is accused of sabotaging competing advertising systems in favor of Google's auction system.

Details about the Jedi Blue previously surfaced in a Texas antitrust lawsuit against Google advertising, alleging that Facebook and Google had reached an agreement to give Facebook preferential pricing and priority in key Facebook ad placements in exchange for Facebook subsidies, manipulating the market in their favour. . Do not create ad technology to compete with the Google Ads system or use a competing publisher's system, place bids.

The US litigation is not over yet. However, the European Union has expressed concern that the Jedi Blue deal could be part of an effort to shut down ad technology services that compete with Google's open bidding system. This includes restricting or distorting competition in the online display advertising market to the detriment of publishers and consumers.

Margrethe Vestager said the collective investigation aims to determine whether Facebook was involved in the plan or whether Google acted on its own.

Jedi Blue Agreement between Facebook and Google

The UK regulator said its investigation is examining whether Facebook's deal with Google violated the law. It also goes a little deeper into Google's behavior in relation to its auction service. She wondered whether the company had abused its dominant position and gained an unfair advantage over competitors trying to provide similar services.

The head of the UK regulator said: “Google may have teamed up with Facebook to create barriers to competitors who provide publishers with a major online advertising service. When a company controls a particular niche, start-ups and small businesses may find it difficult to penetrate the market, which could limit market access. of customer choice.

Google said it was a publicly documented agreement. It allows the Facebook Audience Network to participate in an open bidding program with dozens of other companies.

Meta said the non-exclusive deal with Google and similar deals could help increase competition for ad placements.

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