Google for years has been running a secret program that used data from previous bids in the company’s digital ad exchange to allegedly give an advantage to its own ad buying system. vs. competitors, according to court documents in antitrust litigation in Texas.
The program, known as “Project Bernanke,” is not disclosed to publishers who sell ads through Google’s ad buying system. It generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the company annually, the documents show. In its lawsuit, Texas alleges that the project was assigned to Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc.
an unfair competitive advantage over competitors.
The documents filed this week were part of Google’s initial response to the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit, filed in December and accusing the search firm of operating exclusive advertising. Digital hurts both competitors in the advertising and publisher industries. This week’s filing, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, was not properly edited when it was uploaded to public court filings. A federal judge allowed Google to seal the case.
Some of the unverified content of the document was previously revealed by MLex, a news site specializing in antitrust.
The document sheds more light on the state’s case against Google, along with the search company’s defense.
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