For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the U.S. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for. But most of the two billion Mastercard holders aren't aware of this behind-the-scenes tracking.
Google paid Mastercard millions of dollars for the data, according to two people who worked on the deal, and the companies discussed sharing a portion of the ad revenue, according to one of the people.
The battles we thought we were fighting were lost years ago. They just never bothered to tell us.