⌨️ Hey Google, What's "Collusion"?
A new antitrust complaint has been filed against Facebook and Google, two months after an initial antitrust case was brought against the tech giants. The original suit, filed by a coalition of state attorneys general, alleges the two companies colluded to limit price bidding of online ads.
According to November's complaint, Google and Facebook began colluding in 2018 and called their joint effort "Jedi Blue". This new complaint adds that Google CEO Sundar Pichai as well as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg all had knowledge of the collusion, says The Verge.
As eMarketer notes, Google and Facebook controlled over 52 percent of the online ad market in 2021.
Both companies have denied the allegations, and Google stated that it is “full of inaccuracies” reports Politico, yet email records show that Pichai personally signed off on the deal while Sandberg emailed Zuckerberg that Jedi Blue would be “a big deal strategically.”
Mounting Antitrust Momentum
Facebook and Google, along with the rest of the FAANG cohort (Apple, Amazon, and Netflix), have increasingly become the targets of federal antitrust claims and a bipartisan effort to break up their monopolies. In fact, as Google is staring down this antitrust case, the LA Times says the search engine powerhouse is lobbying the Senate to back off an antitrust bill.
It's one thing to claim that you receive too many emails a day to notice which ones detail a major price colluding scheme. It's another thing when the email record shows you personally responded to the plan.