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10 states sued Google for anticompetitive online ad sales

Christian Fernsby |
Ten states brought a lawsuit against Google, accusing the search giant of anti competitive conduct in the online advertising industry, including a deal to manipulate sales with rival Facebook.

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Topics: GOOGLE   

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the suit, which was filed in a federal court in Texas, saying Google is using its “monopolistic power” to control pricing of online advertisements, fixing the market in its favour and eliminating competition.

“This Goliath of a company is using its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm you, the consumer,” Paxton said in the video posted on Twitter.

Texas is bringing the suit along with other Republican attorneys general from Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.

The complaint targets the heart of Google’s business the digital ads that generate nearly all of its revenue, as well as all the money that its corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., depends upon to help finance a range of far-flung technology projects.

As more marketers have increased their spending online, those digital ads have turned Google into a moneymaking machine. Through the first nine months of this year, Google’s ad sales totalled nearly $101 billion (€82.5 billion), accounting for 86% of its total revenue.

And now the states contend Google intends to use its alleged stranglehold on digital ads to choke off other avenues of potential competition and innovation. The company struck an illegal deal with Facebook, a major competitor for ads, to manipulate advertising auction, according to the complaint.