Alleged Collusion Between Meta and Google: Shocking Sort Of

January 17, 2022

Google and Facebook’s Top Execs Allegedly Approved Dividing Ad Market among Themselves” reports:

The alleged 2017 deal between Google and Facebook to kill header bidding, a way for multiple ad exchanges to compete fairly in automated ad auctions, was negotiated by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and endorsed by both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (now with Meta) and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, according to an updated complaint filed in the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit against Google.

Fans of primary research can read the 242 page amended filing at this link.

One question arises: How could two separate companies engage is discussions to divide a market? Perhaps one clue is the presence of the estimable lean in professional Sheryl Sandberg, who joined Google 2001 after blazing a trail in economics, McKinsey-type thinking familiar to many today as the pharma brain machine, and then some highly productive US government work.

At the Google she was a general manager. Her Googley behavior earned her a promotion. She was one of the thinkers shaping the outstanding revenue generation system known as AdWords. She added her special touch of McKinsey-ness to AdSense to the Gil Ebaz smart system packaged as Applied Semantics aka Oingo. The important point about applied semantics is that the technology included what I think of as steering or directionality; that is, one uses semantic information to herd the doggies (users) down the trail (consumption of ad inventory. For more on this notion of steering yo8u will want to listen to my interview with Dr. Donna Ingram who addresses this issue in the DarkCyber, 4th series, Number 1 video program to be released on January 18, 2022.

In 2007, chatting at the party helped her migrate from the Google to the company formerly known as Facebook. Ms. Sandberg, Harvard graduate with a chubby contact list, joined the scintillating management team as the social network engineering machine. In 2012, she became a member of the company’s board of directors. She leaned in to her role until some “real” news outfits flipped over the mossy rock of Cambridge Analytica’s benchmark marketing methods.

Ms. Sandberg was recognized by Professor Shoshana Zuboff as the Typhoid Mary of surveillance capitalism. Is that a Meta T shirt yet? He book is a must read. It is called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. It appeared in 2013 and may be due for an update to include the Cambridge Analytica misunderstanding, the Frances Haugen revelations, and, of course, the current Texas-sized legal matter.

The write up cited above points out a statement from the Google. The main idea is that the idea is “full of inaccuracies and lacks legal merit.”

I believe everything I read on the Internet. I accept the Google search output when I query “Silicon Valley ethics” – Theranos. I trust in the Meta thing because how could two outfits collude? I think such interactions are highly improbable in Silicon Valley, the home of straight shooting.

Stephen E Arnold, January 17, 2022


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