Antitrust investigations into Google and Meta, have been launched by regulators in the EU and the United Kingdom.
Formerly known as Facebook. The group of nations has launched an investigation following the tech giant’s 2018 ad partnership.
The dual investigations to be held, announced on Friday. Furthermore, it will look at whether the two businesses’ “Jedi Blue” deal affected competition in marketplaces for online display advertising services.
Online display ads consist of graphic ads that appear on websites, mobile applications, and social media.
According to a collection of state attorneys general in the United States, the Jedi Blue contract allowed Google and Meta to cheat online ad auctions and illegally control rates. As a result, causing smaller businesses to suffer.
At the time, both companies denied the charges.
“We’re concerned,” Andrea Coscelli, CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom, said in a statement on Friday.
“Google and Meta ad deal might have teamed forces to throw roadblocks in the way of competitors. Especially those who provide publishers with important online display advertising services.”
“If one corporation has a hold on the market, it can be difficult for start-ups and smaller enterprises to break into the market. Thereby, ultimately decreasing customer choice,” he continued.
The commission wants to know if the tech companies discouraged or blocked the use of “header bidding services.”
This allows news organizations to sell their web advertising space to several purchasers at once rather than receiving individual proposals.
Many publishers turn to online display advertising to fund online content for consumers.
According to Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s commissioner for competition policy.
“A competitor technology to Google’s Open Bidding may have been targeted with the goal of weakening it. Also, excluding it from the market for displaying advertising on publisher websites and apps,” she claimed, referring to the so-called ‘Jedi Blue’ agreement between Google and Meta.
“However, if our inquiry confirms this, it will limit and damage competition in the already crowded ad tech industry.”
To the impair of competitor ad serving technology, publishers, and, ultimately, consumers,” Vestager continued.
“Meta’s non-exclusive bidding deal with Google, as well as similar partnerships we have with other bidding platforms.
Thereby, it has helped to improve competition for ad placements,” a Meta spokeswoman stated.
However, Meta is able to provide greater value to advertisers and publishers as a result of these business connections, leading to better outcomes for all. We will work together.