EU opens Google-Facebook advertising deal investigation

Antitrust officials of the EU launched an inquiry into Alphabet's Google and Facebook's online display advertising services deal
SIA Team
March 11, 2022

Antitrust officials of the EU launched an inquiry into Alphabet’s Google and Facebook’s online display advertising services deal to see if it violates EU competition rules.

“A competing technology to Google’s Open Bidding may have been targeted with the aim of weakening and excluding it from the market for displaying ads on publisher websites and apps via the so-called ‘Jedi Blue’ agreement between Google and Meta,” European antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The probe will focus on a 2018 arrangement between Facebook and Google known as Jedi Blue, which might block ad tech rivals and restrict competition, according to the European Commission.

The purchase is also being investigated by the UK’s antitrust regulator. The European Commission’s competition watchdog has stated that it aims to work closely with its British counterpart.

Requests for comment from Google and Facebook, which have been renamed Meta, were not immediately returned.

Both businesses’ main executives were aware of the arrangement to slice up a portion of the online advertising industry, according to an upgraded antitrust case filed by Texas and 15 other US states against Google.