Google and Facebook agreed to secret ad deal; 2021 may be a great year for Macs; 12 iPhone privacy tips; and more

Google and Facebook agreed to secret deal that offered preferential treatment in bids for online ads

When Facebook began testing ways to sell ads that would threatened Google’s dominance in the ad marketing, Google’s response was to build an alliance with the social networking giant. Less than two years later, the two companies had struck a deal, one that would allow Google to continue to dominate the online advertising market, and that would give Facebook unfair advantages over other companies competing in the ad market.

According to a report by The New York Times, “Executives at six of the more than 20 partners in the alliance told The Times that their agreements with Google did not include many of the same generous terms that Facebook received and that the search giant had handed Facebook a significant advantage over the rest of them.”

Here are some key takeaways from the report.

  • When Facebook threatened Google’s ad dominance, Google “developed an alternative called Open Bidding, which supported an alliance of exchanges,” notes the Times report.

  • The Open Bidding platform allows for exchanges to compete alongside Google, though the search company takes a fee for every winning bid.

  • Facebook joined the program and Google gave the company special treatment to help them succeed over other bidders in the bidding process.

  • Facebook was allowed to conduct direct billing relationships with the sites that would host the ads—with Google controlling the pricing information—leaving the other Open Bidding participants blind to how many winning bids the sites had received.

  • Most striking: Google and Facebook agreed that the social network would win a set percentage of auctions that it bid on.

Why this matters

  • Big Tech often makes closed-door agreements that shut out smaller companies and start-ups. “The deals are often consequential, defining the winners and losers in various markets for technology services and products,” notes the Times. “They are agreed upon in private with the crucial deal terms hidden through confidentiality clauses.”

💻 2021 may be a great year for Macs

Serial Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo stated last week that the company will be releasing updates to the Mac lineup later this year.

As reported by Macrumors, we can expect some exciting new updates to the MacBook Pro series.

  • There could be two new models including new 14-inch and 16-inch models

  • These models may feature squared off edges

  • MagSafe may be returning to the MacBook Pro series

  • The Touch Bar may be replaced by a set of function keys

  • There will likely be no Intel model, and will only use Apple’s new ARM chips

  • Multiple ports types may be returning

These new models are expected for release during the third quarter of 2021, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.

The iMac may be receiving a refresh as well. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman notes that the desktop will include designs similar to Apple’s Pro Display XDR, which would give the iMac slimmer bezels and will also use the company’s ARM processors.

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