US lawmakers sent a letter dated August 31 to the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting that the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division investigate the secret Google – Facebook deal codenamed Jedi Blue. The result of such an investigation could have ramifications in other parts of the world such as the EU and India where Google is under regulatory scrutiny as well. What was the secret Jedi Blue deal? In December 2020, a lawsuit filed by ten US states led by Texas against Google for anticompetitive conduct alleged that Google reached an illegal deal with Facebook in 2018 to maintain its control over the digital advertising market. According to the lawsuit, Facebook backed off from competing against Google in the ad space with an innovative technology called header bidding after Google offered Facebook special information and speed advantages to help the company succeed in the auctions, New York Times reported. "The disclosure of the deal between the tech giants has renewed concerns about how the biggest technology companies band together to close off competition. The deals are often consequential, defining the winners and losers in various markets for technology services and products. They are agreed upon in private with the crucial deal terms hidden through confidentiality clauses," the NYT report added. Both Google and Facebook said that there is no foul play here and such deals are common in the digital advertising industry. You can read more about the Jedi Blue deal here and here. What does the letter sent by lawmakers say?…
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