New Suit Alleges Google Fixed Ad Rates With Facebook

Alphabet’s Google was accused in an antitrust lawsuit of giving itself the edge in online advertising by cutting a cozy deal with Facebook that gives the social network an advantage in virtual auctions which determine whose ads appear where.

According to Google, the deal has allowed Google to retain its dominance in online advertising while keeping other advertisers on the sidelines and limiting revenue for online publishers, two Massachusetts companies claimed in a proposed class-action lawsuit.

Read More: Senate Looks At Google Ad Market Dominance

A so-called header bidding system devised in 2014 enabled publishers to direct a user’s browser to solicit real-time bids from multiple exchanges, not just Google’s, according to the complaint. Facebook initially embraced the system, but as part of a 2018 deal with Google, it agreed to limit its program in return for preferential treatment in Google’s ad business, the Massachusetts companies claimed in the complaint, filed Tuesday, August 3, in San Francisco federal court.

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