Google was taken to court by ten state attorneys general on Wednesday in an anti-trust lawsuit alleging that they have been illegally stifling competition in the online advertising market.
The tech giant, which made $66 billion in revenue over the last financial year controls the lion’s share of the market for online advertising platforms and has been unchallenged ever since acquiring DoubleClick in 2008.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit against the tech giant and was joined by attorneys general from Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho.
“This Goliath of a company is using its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition and harm you, the consumer,” Paxton said in a video posted on Twitter. “It isn’t fair that Google effectively eliminated its competition and crowned itself the head of online advertising,”
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
“Within a few short years of executing this unlawful tactic, Google successfully monopolised the publisher ad server market and grew its ad exchange to number one, despite having entered those two markets much later than the competition,” the suit reads, referring to the way the market has been run ever since the DoubleClick acquisition.
However, Google has responded through a spokesperson, refuting what it is deeming as “baseless” claims.
“Attorney General Paxton’s ad tech claims are meritless, yet he’s gone ahead in spite of all the facts,” the spokesperson told The Hill. “We’ve invested in state-of-the-art ad tech services that help businesses and benefit consumers. … We will strongly defend ourselves from his baseless claims in court.”
This lawsuit adds weight to what appears to be a growing trend in US courts, where more and more tech giants are coming under investigation for monopolistic practices.