Google has been hit with another lawsuit, making it the second major antitrust case against the tech giant within two months.
“I’m proud to announce that the state of Texas is filing a multistate lawsuit against Google for anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices and deceptive misrepresentations,” Texas state attorney general Ken Paxton said in a video posted on Twitter.
“Google repeatedly used its monopolistic power to control pricing, engage in market collusions to rig auctions in a tremendous violation of justice”, Paxton said.
Nine other state attorneys joined in the lawsuit, which primarily accuses Google of exercising control over the real-time auctions that determine how much advertisers pay to reach consumers.
The new case is separate from the October lawsuit against Google by the Department of Justice (DOJ), alleging that it abused its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and harm consumers.
“This Goliath of a company is using its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition and harm you, the consumer… these actions harm every person in America,” Texas State attorney said in the new lawsuit.
This internet Goliath used its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm YOU, the consumer. Stay tuned… pic.twitter.com/fdEVEWQb0e
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) December 16, 2020
In reaction, a Google spokesperson described the lawsuit as “meritless” and accused the Texas state attorney of pushing ahead “in spite of all the facts.”
“We’ve invested in state-of-the-art ad tech services that help businesses and benefit consumers”, Google spokesperson said in a statement obtained by multiple media sources.
“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. We will strongly defend ourselves from his baseless claims in court,” the spokesperson said.
Politico reported yesterday that another group, a coalition of states led by Colorado and Nebraska are planning to file a separate complaint against Google. They complaint is expected to accuse the company of unfairly modifying its search engine to boost results for its own products while disadvantaging results for competitors.
Last week, Facebook was hit with massive antitrust lawsuit by the U.S government and 46 states, accusing the company of using its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals, at the expense of users.