Google and Facebook made a mutual cooperation agreement to help each other if they faced a possible antitrust lawsuit involving online ads, brought by authorities in the United States. This is what the Wall Street Journal reveals, in an article published this Tuesday (22).
According to the newspaper, the provisional version of a lawsuit filed by 10 US states against Google cites the two tech giants closing the deal in September 2018. In the pact, it was agreed that Facebook would not compete with online advertising tools rival, in exchange for reciprocal treatment.
The document also mentions that the companies were aware of the possibility that the agreement, dubbed by the Mountain View giant as “Blue Jedi”, would trigger investigations into monopolistic practices. They would even have discussed the best ways to handle the process, committing themselves to notify the other party of any communications received.
In the deal, there was still a minimum spending of $ 500 million a year by Mark Zuckerberg’s social network on auctions for search giant ads. The company considered the value “relatively cheap” compared to direct competition and would still receive a fixed percentage of these auctions, according to the publication.
What the parties involved say
In contact with the newspaper, a Google spokesman said that contracts on antitrust threats like this one are “extremely common”. He also said there was no confidentiality regarding the agreement and said that some of the information published in the lawsuit was inaccurate.
Facebook, meanwhile, commented that its Internet advertising bidding agreements provide options for multiple parties, benefiting advertisers, small businesses and publishers. The company also rejected the document’s denunciations and denied any harm to competition or misconduct on its part.