Lawsuits » Antitrust Suit Reveals Alleged Insider Trading By Google

Antitrust Suit Reveals Alleged Insider Trading By Google

Seattle, USA - Feb 4, 2020: A one way street sign by the new Google building in the south lake union area late in the day.

April 16, 2021

Lawyers representing Texas in its antitrust suit against Google have unearthed a secret program the tech giant used to track bids on its ad-buying platform. They accuse Google of using the data to gain an unfair market advantage that generated revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Google called it “Project Bernanke,” an apparent reference to former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. Google has acknowledged the existence of the project and that it is not disclosed to advertisers on its platform, but denied that it gained an unfair advantage. The lawyers who discovered Project Bernanke allege that it amounts to insider trading. Google operates a major ad exchange, represents buyers and sellers on the exchange, and buys as well. By using information on what other ad buyers were willing to pay for space, Google could bid the minimum to secure ad inventory. The Texas suit is one of three antitrust actions Google faces.

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