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Facebook and Google Agreed to Cooperate in a Possible Investigation, According to WSJ

Facebook and Google agreed to “cooperate and assist each other in responding to any antitrust action” and “inform the other party” of any government communications about their agreement, the WSJ said

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New York, 22 Dec (EFE).

Facebook and Google agreed to “cooperate and assist each other” in case they are investigated for their digital advertising pact, according to United States authorities in a lawsuit to which The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had access.

The text is a full version of the complaint filed last week by a group of states against Google, which included numerous confidential passages with details about the accusations.

The lawsuit alleges that the two Internet giants closed a deal in September 2018 by which Facebook agreed not to compete with Google’s advertising tools in exchange for favorable treatment to use them.

According to the part of the text to which the WSJ had access, the two companies knew that their agreement could trigger an antitrust investigation and discussed how to deal with it.

Thus, Facebook and Google agreed to “cooperate and assist each other in responding to any antitrust action” and “inform the other party” of any government communications about their agreement, the WSJ said Tuesday.

A Google spokesman assured the newspaper that this type of agreement on possible antitrust investigations is very common and insisted that the demand from the states does not reflect reality, since the agreement with Facebook was no secret and did not contain anything that was not available to other clients.

The public version of the lawsuit did not include any details about the extent of the agreement between the two companies, but according to the text seen by the WSJ, starting from the fourth year of the pact Facebook must pay a minimum of $500 million in Google advertising auctions.

An internal Facebook document cited in the lawsuit describes the settlement as “relatively cheap” compared to direct competition.

The two internet giants are in the spotlight of the U.S. authorities, who in the last weeks have filed several lawsuits against them for alleged anti-competitive practices.

Other major technology companies such as Apple and Amazon also face antitrust investigations in the United States.

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