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Texas and others to file antitrust lawsuit against Google over ad-tech

Texas and nine other states file antitrust lawsuit against Google over ad-tech dominance after search engine ‘crowned itself the king of online advertising’

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Wednesday afternoon 
  • The complaint, which nine other states are backing, was filed in the Eastern District of Texas 
  • It focuses on Google’s ad-tech dominance and accuses it of breaking antitrust law in how it runs its online advertising business 
  • The lawsuit was prompted by complaints by publishers and other businesses whose publications rely on advertising revenue to survive 
  • Texas already joined the Justice Department’s landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google that was filed in October 

Texas and nine other states have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google over its ad-tech dominance, accusing the search engine of eliminating competition and harming consumers.  

The lawsuit, which was announced by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, was filed in the Eastern District of Texas on Wednesday afternoon. 

The complaint, which brands Google as an ‘internet Goliath’, focuses on the company’s ad-tech dominance and accuses it of breaking antitrust law in how it runs its online advertising business. 

It was prompted by complaints by publishers and other businesses whose publications rely on advertising revenue to survive. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the lawsuit against Google on Wednesday afternoon. It has been filed in the Eastern District of Texas

In its lawsuit, Texas argues that Google dominates the path of getting an advertisement from the agency that produces it to a web page or mobile app that attracts the consumer’s eyeballs.  

‘Google repeatedly used its monopolistic power to control pricing (and) engage in market collusions to rig auctions in a tremendous violation of justice,’ Paxton said in a Facebook video. 

He added that Google ‘eliminated its competition and crowned itself the king of online advertising’. 

‘If the free market was a baseball game, Google positioned itself as the pitcher, the batter and the umpire,’ he said. 

Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp and other internet firms that involve recommending products or services have complained that Google favors its own offerings in general search results. 

The nine states that joined Texas are Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho.  

The complaint was not immediately available to download, delaying publication of some of the lawsuit’s details. 

In response to Paxton’s comments, a Google spokeswoman said: ‘We will strongly defend ourselves from his baseless claims in court. 

‘Digital ad prices have fallen over the last decade. Ad tech fees are falling too. Google´s ad tech fees are lower than the industry average. These are the hallmarks of a highly competitive industry.’ 

In its lawsuit, Texas argues that Google dominates the path of getting an advertisement from the agency that produces it to a web page or mobile app that attracts the consumer's eyeballs

In its lawsuit, Texas argues that Google dominates the path of getting an advertisement from the agency that produces it to a web page or mobile app that attracts the consumer’s eyeballs

The lawsuit is the fourth in a series of federal and state lawsuits aimed at reining in alleged bad behavior by the big tech platforms that have grown significantly in the past two decades. 

Texas and 11 other states had already previously joined the Justice Department’s landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google that was filed in October. 

That federal lawsuit argued that Google illegally used its market power to hobble rivals. 

It accused Google of building a great search engine but then fending off competition through exclusive deals with Apple and others.   

The suit also alleged that Google abused its dominance in search advertising. 

Google has called the Justice Department lawsuit ‘deeply flawed’. 

Texas has long been expected to follow the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google.  

Colorado, New York and another group of states are also expected to file a separate lawsuit over Google’s search results. 

That lawsuit is expected to argue that Google abused its power when ranking its own offerings in search results. 

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