The top executives at Google and Facebook are being accused of conspiring together by approving a secret deal that gave Facebook an advantage in online advertising auctions.
Attorneys for Texas and other states, according to court filings obtained by Fox News, say that the 2018 deal between tech giants potentially violated antitrust laws by giving Facebook unlawful advantages in Google’s advertising exchange.
The lawsuit alleges that Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, negotiated the deal with Google chief executive Sundar Pichai with the approval of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Sandberg reportedly referred to the agreement as a “big deal strategically.”
“The halcyon days of Google’s youth are a distant memory. Over twenty years ago, two college students founded a company that forever changed the way that people search the internet,” the lawsuit reads. “Since then, Google has expanded its business far beyond search and dropped its famous ‘don’t be evil’ motto. Its business practices reflect that change. As internal Google documents reveal, Google sought to kill competition and has done so through an array of exclusionary tactics, including an unlawful agreement with Facebook, its largest potential competitive threat, to manipulate advertising auctions. The Supreme Court has warned that there are such things as antitrust evils. This litigation will establish that Google is guilty of such antitrust evils, and it seeks to ensure that Google won’t be evil anymore.”