Google and Meta accused of having entered into an anti-competitive agreement

Several American states, including Texas, accuse the Alphabet (Google) and Meta (Facebook) groups of agreeing “illegally in 2018 to establish their domination of the Internet advertising market”, we learned on Friday. January 14.

“These negotiations resulted, in September 2018, in an agreement between Google and Facebook signed by Philipp Schindler, vice president and director of sales and operations of the advertising branch of Google, and Ms. Sheryl Sandberg [NDR dont le nom a été barré d’un épais trait noir sur le document], director of operations and member of the board of directors of Facebook, who had herself once led advertising at Google”, explain in their charges the prosecutors of a coalition of states, who have filed new collective lawsuits in a New York court. “Google CEO Sundar Pichai also personally approved the terms of the agreement,” they said. Finally, the complaint also relies on an email from Sheryl Sandberg to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, where she describes the project as “strategically very important”.

In fact, the prosecution claims that Google wanted to stop the establishment of an alternative system for allocating broader advertising space which would have allowed website publishers to circumvent its commissions. The Web giant would then have convinced Meta to “form an alliance”.

Meta defends itself from “fair compensation”

For its part, Meta wanted to react to these accusations by explaining that “the non-exclusive agreement with Google and similar agreements that we have with other auction platforms have helped to strengthen competition for placements. advertisers. These professional relationships allow Meta to provide more value to advertisers while fairly compensating publishers. Everyone wins, ”explained a spokesperson to the American media.

“Google holds 28.6% of the global digital advertising market in 2021, just ahead of Facebook with 23.7%,” according to eMarketer, a market research firm that provides information and trends related to digital marketing.

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