So much for “Don’t be evil,” Google’s infamous slogan, as well as similar noise from Facebook: Multiple state attorneys allege the two tech giants struck a secret deal on advertising, approved by both CEOs.
The market-rigging outlined in the suit (which describes several other sleazy Google maneuvers) constitutes supreme arrogance, deciding which other businesses live or die while the colluders add to their power.
The suit cites evidence that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg urged CEO Mark Zuckerberg to sign off on what she (a former Google ad chief) called a “big deal strategically.” Meaning, of course, a chance for the firm to edge out rivals and reap yet more megaprofits.
A secret deal to extend their oligopoly is all too credible, though Google’s lawyers insist it’s all nothing: Tech giants openly act as overlords of our speech, at the expense of the free press whose advertising revenues they’ve appropriated. Illegal collusion to extend their power is only the logical next step.