Proceedings: Google, Facebook CEO Colludes in Online Advertising Sales | WGN Radio 720

A new unedited document from a state-led antitrust proceeding against Google accuses search giants of colluding with rival Facebook to manipulate the sale of online ads. The proceedings allege that the CEOs of both companies have recognized and approved the transaction.

The original edited proceedings filed in December 2021 accused Google of partnering with “anti-competitive behavior” and social networking giants. However, the unedited version details that Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were involved in approving the transaction. After that, Facebook changed its name to Meta.

According to the proceedings, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg stated in a 2018 email thread about transactions involving Facebook’s CEO that “this is a strategic big deal.” The names of Facebook executives are still being edited in the proceedings, but their titles are visible.

“The team sent an email directly to the CEO,” the proceedings said when the two sides set out the terms of the agreement.

According to the complaint, “We are almost ready to sign and need your approval to move forward,” the email read. Zuckerberg wanted to meet Sandberg and his other executives before making the decision, the complaint said.

In a statement, Google spokesperson Peter Schottenfels said the proceedings were “filled with inaccuracies and had no legal merit.”

In September 2018, the two companies signed the agreement, according to complaints. Formerly head of Google’s advertising business, Sundar and Pichai personally approved the deal, following state complaints.

Chris Sgrow, a spokesperson for Meta, said Friday that the company’s advertising bidding agreement with Google and similar agreements with other bidding platforms “helped to intensify the competition for advertising.”

“These business relationships allow Meta to offer more value to advertisers while rewarding publishers significantly, with better results for everyone,” Sgro said. ..

According to the proceedings, Google internally used the code phrase “Jedi Blue” to refer to the 2018 agreement. Google has kept this code phrase secret.

Google’s Schottenfels said the proceedings alleging that Pichai approved the deal with Facebook were “inaccurate.”

“Every year we sign hundreds of contracts that don’t require CEO approval, which was no exception,” he added, adding that the contracts were “never secret.”

The lawsuit was led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, with the addition of Attorney Generals Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and South. .. Dakota and Utah.

Proceedings: Google, Facebook CEO Colludes in Online Advertising Sales | WGN Radio 720

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