Texas, backed by nine US states sue Google for working with Facebook to violate antitrust law

According to Reuters, Texas, backed additionally by nine US states, sued Google for working with Facebook in a manner of violating antitrust laws. The states accused the search engine giant of using its monopolistic power to control online advertisement pricing and hand themselves advertising rights on partner pages while simultaneously overcharging publishers. The states asked Google, which runs and controls a third of the world’s online advertising industry, to compensate them for the damages and divest assets.

Not just states, companies are also taking aim

It is not just US states taking shots at Google. Online publishers such as Genius Media Group and The Nation claimed in their separate lawsuit that Google restricted advertising competition and damaged their respective businesses.

The lawsuit states that Google has accomplished and maintained a monopoly, or near-monopoly, in the online advertising industry. Google is charging unlawful prices for passage by fabricating a toll bridge between advertisers and publishers. The suit further states that Google intentionally lowered its fees to almost null to attain a monopoly among publishers, then used unlawful tricks to broker transactions between advertisers and publishers, and in return created excessive fees on both parties.

This is not the first time Genius Media Group has filed a lawsuit against Google. In 2019, the media group filed a lawsuit against the Alphabet-owned company for breaching a contract by using song lyrics data in search results. The case, however, was dismissed by the court.

The state-backed lawsuit also alleges that Google was working with online social media giant- Facebook. It is known that both tech firms compete in internet ad sales and together Google and Facebook dominate over half of the online global market.

Leading Tech companies under pressure

Google has been under scrutiny from the federal government from multiple anti-trust investigations this year. However, the criticism has been passed around to several other big tech firms namely, Apple Amazon and Facebook. Earlier this year, all four of these companies faced an anti-trust hearing.

The Texas lawsuit is the second biggest complaint from regulators against Google for alleged unacceptable behavior.

A Google spokeswoman denied all allegations and called the claims baseless. The nine other states that backed Texas include Utah, Mississippi, Indiana, North Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Idaho, and Kentucky.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tech-antitrust-google/texas-nine-u-s-states-accuse-google-of-working-with-facebook-to-break-antitrust-law-idUSKBN28Q2RL

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