Google And Facebook Accused Of Fixing Ad Rates; Xandr Goes Back To Its Roots

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Return Of The Jedi?

Google is accused of allegedly cutting a deal with Facebook (again) to “fix” ad rates in programmatic auctions, Ad Age reports. The claim is made in a new antitrust suit filed against the search giant by two Massachusetts companies. The class-action suit claims Google and Facebook hashed out a deal that gave Facebook a competitive edge in header-bidding auctions and “preferential treatment in Google’s ad business.” Google, meanwhile, maintained its online advertising dominance, essentially cutting out innovation and competition. The allegations sound a lot like the secret “Jedi Blue” deal between Facebook and Google that was revealed in an antitrust lawsuit filed in Texas last year. That case was thrown out by a federal court in late June, and is currently being appealed by the states.

Staying The Course

Xandr rolled out its automated Monetize TV tool for advanced TV programmers on Wednesday. Monetize TV takes the tools Xandr acquired with the linear TV SSP Clypd in 2019 and integrates them into Xandr’s Invest TV advertising platform. A spokeswoman for Xandr told AdExchanger in June that it was business as usual following the WarnerMedia announcement and that Xandr remained focused on its clients. That could ring true, since it appears Xandr is refocusing on its core strengths when it was AppNexus, Adweek reports. But Xandr is caught in limbo at AT&T. It was folded into WarnerMedia, but wasn’t included in WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery. Xandr is still rolling out ad tech products, though.

In The Cart

Carolyn Everson, until recently Facebook’s VP of global business, will join Instacart next month as president, CNBC reports. Instacart has made splashy Big Tech hires, including CRO Seth Dallaire and Fidji Simo, the former head of the Facebook App, who was named Instacart CEO last month. But Simo is hardly just bringing on a former colleague. Everson was the face of Facebook’s ad business to big global brands for a decade. Her relationships with the big agency holding companies and the largest consumer brands are just what Instacart needs to further accelerate its advertising platform business. Facebook is an ad platform monster in large part because of its strength in self-serve and small business marketing. There are millions of advertisers on Facebook. But Instacart only needs the largest food and beverage brands to kick its ad revenue into next gear. That happens to be Everson’s rolodex, so to speak. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

Ad campaigns straddle post-COVID optimism with the delta variant on the rise. [WSJ]

WarnerMedia launched its Brand Studio offering for advertisers. [Adweek]

WideOrbit rolled out the latest version of WO Traffic. [release]

Alibaba’s profits dipped in Q2. [Campaign

Google fired dozens of staffers for misusing the company’s data. [Vice]

You’re Hired

Horizon Media tapped Karen Hunt as West Coast president. [MediaPost]

AxiCom hired Alan Auyeung and Duane MacDonald as vice presidents. [Provoke Media]

Imre tapped Andrew Brown, Courtney Hanson and Tom Sunshine as vice presidents. [release]

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