Google and Facebook have made agreements to help each other in the event of an antitrust lawsuit. The companies were aware that their practices in the online advertising market could trigger such a court case.
US attorneys accuse Google and Facebook of entering a partnership on online advertising in 2018. Facebook would not compete with Google’s tools for online advertising if, in return, Google gave Facebook preferential treatment when using Google’s tools.
According to the complaint, Google and Facebook were aware that such cooperation could lead to antitrust lawsuits. Therefore, the two tech giants had agreed to cooperate and support each other in the event of antitrust action. The parties would also inform each other immediately if one of the parties were to be approached by the authorities about the agreement, The Wall Street Journal writes.
‘Any allegation is baseless’
Both Facebook and Google deny guilt. Google says that the company does not manipulate the auction of advertisements and there is nothing exclusive about its involvement with Facebook. Facebook would not have received data that is not similarly made available to other buyers. A spokesperson for Facebook says that any suggestion of misconduct is baseless.
Last week, the state of Texas, together with nine other states, filed a lawsuit against Facebook and Google. The two companies are alleged to have concluded an illegal deal to secure the two companies’ dominant position in advertising.
Within this deal, advertising customers of Facebook will also be given the opportunity to place their ads on the websites of Google’s publishing partners. So a publisher that uses Google software to sell ads can get revenue from customers who buy ads on Facebook.