Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined attorneys general from eight other states in filing a lawsuit against Google over digital advertising practices that they claim are abusive and monopoly.
Paxton’s Texas suit was complemented by Arkansas, Indiana, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah.
Google has denied the allegations.
#BREAKING: Texas takes the lead again! Today we’re filing a lawsuit against #Google for anti-competitive behavior.
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
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Ken Paxton of Texas AG accuses Google of manipulating ads
Paxton said in a video posted on Twitter, “Google has repeatedly used its monopoly power to control pricing, collusion to manipulate auctions, and a tremendous violation of justice.”
“Now if you go to a news agency that you know and trust, you will likely see ads that are being served by Google,” Paxton continued.
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Texas AG accused Google of manipulating ads.
“But Google is not telling you, the public, that they are manipulating the advertising auction, and they are continuously profiting, illegally, by taking money from these websites and putting it in their own pockets,” he claimed.
BREAKING: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announces that Texas is filing a lawsuit against Google for “anti-competitive behavior, exclusionary practices and misleading misrepresentations” in multiple states.
– The Bias News (@thebias_news) December 16, 2020
Paxton claims that Google is a monopoly that abuses its power
“This goliath of a company uses its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition and harm you, the consumer,” Paxton said.
Paxton effectively said the tech giant was creating an abusive monopoly.
“These actions harm everyone in America,” said Paxton. “It is not fair that Google can harm the web pages you visit and read, and it is not fair that Google has effectively eliminated its competition and crowned itself the leader of online advertising.”
THIS should make #TechTyrants tremble in their boots. It’s time to do the math. https://t.co/vsfNPQQwBT
This is a huge story.
– Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) December 16, 2020
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AG Paxton used a baseball analogy to explain what he thinks is happening at the tech giant.
“If the free market were a baseball game, Google positioned itself as a pitcher, batsman and referee.” Said Paxton.
Google denies monopoly power or abuse
According to tech website The Verge, Google has dismissed claims made by Paxton and the other states in the antitrust lawsuit.
Reaching out for comment, Google denied claims that the digital ad markets are suffering from consolidation, citing recent price and fee declines. “Attorney General Paxton’s ad-tech claims are unfounded, but he carried on despite the facts,” said a company official. “Digital ad prices have fallen over the past decade. The ad tech fees also fall. Google’s ad tech fees are below the industry average. These are the hallmarks of a highly competitive industry.
ABC News reports that ad sales make up the bulk of Google’s revenue:
The complaint is aimed at the heart of Google’s business – the digital ads that make up almost all of its sales, as well as all of the money parent company Alphabet Inc. relies on to fund a number of distant technology projects.
As more marketers increased their online spend, these digital ads turned Google into a money machine. For the first nine months of this year, Google’s ad revenue was nearly $ 101 billion, which is 86% of total revenue.
Interestingly, ABC also notes that 50 states partnered with Texas to investigate Google’s practices.
However, the current lawsuit only includes Republican attorneys general.