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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Google allegedly gave its ad system an advantage with a special project

Texas thinks it may need an edge in its antitrust lawsuit towards Google. MLex and the Wall Street Journal have discovered unredacted court docket paperwork displaying that Google ran a program, Project Bernanke, that allegedly gave its ad buying system an edge over rivals. The web large used knowledge from publishers’ ad servers to steer advertisers towards the worth they’d must pay for ad placements, however did not inform this to the publishers promoting these adverts. This amounted to insider buying and selling, Texas claimed, because it may use unique information to undercut competing ad-buying programs and pay publishers much less.

An inner presentation from 2013 confirmed that Project Bernanke stood to make $230 million that year. Texas noticed this as proof Google was capitalizing on its advantage.

Google acknowledged the existence of Bernanke within the court docket paperwork, however stated it hadn’t finished something improper. The information was “comparable” to what you’d discover with different ad shopping for instruments, in keeping with the company. A spokesperson advised the WSJ that Texas’ grievance “misrepresents” massive elements of its ad business, and that it meant to problem the state in court docket. It pointed to a UK regulator’s dedication that there was no advantage.

Whichever interpretation is appropriate, the court docket submitting exhibits how Texas intends to pursue its antitrust case — it is satisfied Google was making behind-the-scenes preparations, resembling a reported “sweetheart deal” with Facebook, to provide itself an unfair edge over the competitors. The state may have a robust case if the court docket agrees with the essential premise, however it could be in deep trouble if there’s a distinction of opinion.

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