Google reportedly ran a secret task called “Project Bernanke” that counted on bidding data gathered from advertisers utilizing its advertisement exchange to benefit the companys own advertisement system, The Wall Street Journal reported. Very first discovered by newswire service MLex, the name of the project showed up in an accidentally unredacted document Google had actually submitted as part of an antitrust claim in Texas.
A federal judge has given that let Google refile the file under seal. But according to the Journal, “Bernanke” was not revealed to outside advertisers, and showed profitable for Google, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the company. Texas submitted an antitrust lawsuit versus Google in December, declaring that the search giant was utilizing anticompetitive techniques in which “Bernanke” was a huge part.
Google wrote in the unredacted filing that data from Project Bernanke was “comparable to information preserved by other buying tools,” according to the Journal. The business had the ability to access historical information about bids made through Google Ads, to change bids by its clients and enhance the customers opportunities of winning auctions for ad impressions, putting competing advertisement tools at a downside. Texas mentioned in court files an internal presentation from 2013 in which Google said Project Bernanke would generate $230 million in revenue for that year.
Why Google chose to name the secret task “Bernanke” is unclear. Ben Bernanke, who was chair of the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014, is most likely the best-known Bernanke in the public sphere.
In an email to The Verge, a Google spokesperson stated the problem by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton “misrepresents numerous elements of our ad tech service. We anticipate making our case in court.”
Update April 11th 10:54 AM ET: Adds comment from Google spokesperson