Google reportedly had the secret ‘Project Bernanke’ that boosted its own ad purchasing system over competitors

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Google reportedly had a secret project called ‘Project Bernanke’ that relied on bid data collected from advertisers who used the ad exchange to take advantage of the company’s own ad system. The Wall Street Journal reportedFirst discovered by newswire service MLex, the name of the project was visible in an incorrectly unedited document that Google submitted as part of an antitrust case in Texas.

Since then, a federal judge has had Google reseal the document. But according to the log“Bernanke” was not disclosed to third-party advertisers and proved lucrative for Google, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the company. Texas filed an antitrust suit against Google in December, alleging that the search giant used anti-competitive tactics in which “Bernanke” played a significant role.

Google wrote in the unadjusted submission that Project Bernanke’s data was “similar to data tracked by other purchasing tools,” the report said. logThe company could access historical data on Google Ads bids, change customer bids, and increase customer chances of winning ad impression auctions, putting competing ad tools at a disadvantage. Texas cited in court documents a 2013 internal presentation in which Google said Project Bernanke would bring in $ 230 million in revenue that year.

Why Google chose to name the secret project “Bernanke” is not clear. Ben Bernanke, who chaired the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014, is probably the best known Bernanke in the public sphere.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.