Ten states in the US move an antitrust lawsuit against Google

Ten states in the US move an antitrust lawsuit against Google

The states of Texas, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Mississipi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this month moved an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The civil action number 4:20cv957 was filed in the US Courthouse - Sherman Division, on December 16, 2020.

The antitrust lawsuit has 130 pages and is about the online display advertising market and Google's anticompetitive conduct. The states asked for a trial by jury, and demand that Google pays fines and that the court orders structural relief to enjoin, restrain, and prevent and deter the recurrence of the anticompetitive actions, and to restore and preserve fair competition.

What does the lawsuit say?

The lawsuit claims that publisher ad servers, ad exchanges, ad networks, and demand-side platforms (DSPs) in the United States are antitrust markets, and Google has monopoly power.

On the anticompetitive conduct, the lawsuit states:

  • Google blocked publishers from sending their inventory to more than one marketplace at a time;
  • Google gave itself preferential treatment by routing publisher inventory to its own ad exchange and blocks competition from other exchanges;
  • A new industry innovation called "header bidding" promoted exchange competition; Google wanted to kill it;
  • Facebook helped Google kill header bidding with an unlawful agreement;
  • Google forced market participants to re-route trading through Google;
  • Google forced advertisers to use Google's ad-buying tools for large advertisers;

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