Facebook, Google and the New York Times

Jeff Horwitz & Keach Hagey:

In the filing, Google said Project Bernanke used data about historical bids made through Google Ads to adjust its clients’ bids and increase their chances of winning auctions for ad impressions that would have otherwise been won by rival ad tools. The company acknowledged as accurate an internal 2013 presentation showing that the project was expected to generate $230 million in revenue that year; Texas has cited that presentation as proof that Google benefited from its advantage.

The document also sheds more light on a once-secret deal between Facebook Inc. FB -1.30% and Google, known as Jedi Blue, which allegedly guaranteed Facebook would both bid in—and win—a fixed percentage of ad auctions.

The agreement was signed by, among other individuals, Philipp Schindler, Google’s senior vice president and chief business officer, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, an unredacted section of Google’s filing states.

Facebook Paying the New York Times:

Participating in Facebook News doesn’t appear to deliver many new readers to outlets; the feature is very difficult to find, and it is not integrated into individuals’ newsfeeds. What Facebook News does deliver—though to only a handful of high-profile news organizations of its choosing—is serious amounts of cash. The exact terms of these deals remain secret, because Facebook insisted on nondisclosure and the news organizations agreed. The Wall Street Journal reported that the agreements were worth as much as $3 million a year, and a Facebook spokesperson told me that number is “not too far off at all.” But in at least one instance, the numbers are evidently much larger. In an interview last month, former New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said the Times is getting “far, far more” than $3 million a year—“very much so.”

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