AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The State of Texas is leading a multistate coalition in a lawsuit against Google for “multiple violations of federal and state antitrust and consumer protection laws, including anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with its role in the multi-trillion-dollar online display advertising industry,” Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office said in a news release Wednesday, Dec. 16.
“Google is a trillion-dollar monopoly brazenly abusing its monopolistic power, going so far as to induce senior Facebook executives to agree to a contractual scheme that undermines the heart of competitive process. In this advertising monopoly on an electronically traded market, Google is essentially trading on ‘insider information’ by acting as the pitcher, catcher, batter and umpire, all at the same time. This isn’t the ‘free market’ at work here. This is anti-market and illegal under state and federal law,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Google’s monopolization of the display-advertising industry and its misleading business practices stifle innovation, limit consumer choice and reduce competition. Texas and its coalition of allied states bring this action to lift the veil on Google’s secret practices and secure relief to prevent it from engaging in future deceptive and misleading practices.”
The nine other states involved in the lawsuit include Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.
The lawsuit alleges that Google monopolized or attempted to monopolize products and services used by advertisers and publishers in online-display advertising.
The complaint also alleges that Google engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts while selling, buying and auctioning online-display ads.
“These anticompetitive and deceptive practices demonstrably diminished publishers’ ability to monetize content, increased advertisers’ costs to advertise and directly harmed consumer,” the Texas AG’s Office said.
READ THE REDACTED LAWSUIT HERE
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