Its a conspiracy theory I know, but I wouldnt be surprised if this is a tactical move to prove to the EU and US antitrust cases that they treat there own companies the same as competitors.
Doing this would give themselves the perfect defense.
Too many players directly involved; too many weak links.
Assuming Google to be the originator in this hypothetical conspiracy, there are three options: 1) Google let Essence Digital in on the conspiracy, 2) Google told Essence Digital to do what was done, 3) Google told Essence Digital to do something innocent hoping that they'd instead do something "bad".
Option 1: There are three more options: 1a) Essence Digital let Unruly Media in on the conspiracy, 1b) Essence Digital told Unruly Media to do what was done, and 1c) Essence Digital told Unruly Media to do something innocent hoping that they'd instead do something "bad".
Option 1a: You now have three independent organizations with no doubt multiple individuals within each organization aware of the conspiracy. That's a horrible conspiracy. Someone is bound to talk.
Option 1b: I believe Essence Digital denied that what Unruly Media did is what Essence Digital requested. Unruly Media could easily expose the lie by pointing to the contract they signed with Essence Digital. At this point Essence Digital either takes the fall or exposes the conspiracy.
Option 2: This is similar to Option 1b, except between Google and Essence Digital.
Option 3 and Option 1c: Too much chance involved. That's a horrible conspiracy.