United States: Google and Meta accused of having an anti-competitive agreement

According to the charges of American states, the highest senior executives of the online research giant and the Facebook parent company were directly involved in an illegal agreement in 2018 to establish their market dominance of the market. Advertising on the web.

Le Monde with AFP

A coalition of American states led by Texas filed, on Friday, January 14, in a New York court a new version of the prosecution text initially launched against Google in December 2020. According to their accusations, the research giant Online has sought to oust competition by manipulating advertising auctions – the ultra-advanced system that determines which advertisements are displayed on web pages based on the anonymous profile of the user.

The legal documents revealed Friday make clear reference to Google’s patterns, Sundar Pichai and Philipp Schindler, as well as Sherry Sandberg for Facebook, even if his name is barred with a thick black trait.

“These negotiations led in September 2018 on an agreement between Google and Facebook signed by Philipp Schindler, Vice President and Director of Sales and Operations of the Google Advertising Branch, and Madam [Barré], Director of Operations and Facebook’s board member who herself had a time directed at Google’s advertising, “retail public prosecutors. “The general manager of Google, Sundar Pichai, also personally approved the terms of the agreement,” they add.

An email addressed to Mark Zuckerberg

The complaint cites an e-mail sent by Sheryl Sandberg to Mark Zuckerberg, where she describes the project as “strategically very important”.

Depending on the floor, Google feared that an alternative system of allocation of advertising spaces would be adopted too widely, allowing site publishers to bypass its commissions. The Californian group then convinced its neighbor to make alliance.

“The non-exclusive agreement with Google and the similar agreements we have with other auction platforms have helped to strengthen competition for advertising investments,” responded to a spokesman of Meta. “These professional relationships allow Meta to offer more value to advertisers while offsetting publishers fairly: everyone wins,” he continued.

The two colossics of the tech, like Apple and Amazon, are accused of abuse of dominant position by a growing number of authorities in the United States. Google holds 28.6% of the World Digital Advertising Market in 2021, according to the Cabinet Emarketer, right in front of its Facebook neighbor and 23.7% of the cake shares.

/Media reports.