Other Google advertising partners haven’t gotten a good deal, according to partners who spoke to the newspaper. The Texas lawsuit effectively accused Google of securing a set number of ad wins for Facebook and putting its rivals at a disadvantage.
Facebook and Google have already dismissed the idea that Jedi Blue is anti-competitive. A Facebook spokesperson claimed that deals like the one with Google “helped increase competition” in ad auctions and that arguments to the contrary were “unfounded”. A Google spokesperson, meanwhile, said the Texas lawsuit “distorts” the deal and other aspects of its advertising business. The research firm published a blog post outlining its objections.
It won’t necessarily sway regulators, and there are even suggestions the two tech giants were aware of the potential for scrutiny. A clause in the deal required the two to “cooperate and help” if there was an investigation into their practices, and the deal mentioned “antitrust” at least 20 times. Don’t be surprised if Texas, other states, and the DOJ are using Jedi Blue to justify regulatory action against Facebook and Google, no matter how right the companies think they are.