EU and UK open antitrust probes into Google and Meta ad services deal – POLITICO

The European Commission and the UK antitrust authority have launched parallel investigations into a deal between Google and Facebook owner Meta for online display advertising services.

“Through the so-called ‘Jedi Blue’ agreement between Google and Meta, a competing technology to Google’s Open Bidding could be targeted with the aim of weakening it and excluding it from the ad display market.
on publishers’ websites and apps,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“If confirmed by our investigation, it would restrict and distort competition in the already concentrated ad tech market, to the detriment of competing ad serving technologies, publishers and ultimately consumers,” a- she declared.

As part of the agreement reached in September 2018, the companies agreed that Meta’s Audience Network would participate in Google’s Open Bidding program.

Brussels fears the deal could hurt publishers and consumers because it could be part of efforts to exclude ad tech services that compete with Google’s Open Bidding program. This would affect competition in the online display advertising market.

The Commission said it would now carry out its in-depth investigation “as a matter of priority” in cooperation with the UK competition authority’s investigation.

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