In a week rife with lawsuits, the next courtroom drama comes courtesy of Google, which is being sued by ten US states and stands accused of monopolization and competition suppression.
This is a totally separate lawsuit to the anti-trust accusations aimed at Google on October 20, which comes from the US Justice Department.
State representatives have filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Texas on Wednesday, December 16th.
Google accused of ad auction rigging
According to a Wall Street Journal report, state representatives are accusing the company of entering into a shady deal with Facebook in order to rig ad auctions.
Each state representative alleges that the arrangement between Google and Facebook, codenamed “Jedi Blue,” sought to stifle competition.
The deal apparently stated that Facebook was to curb its competition with Google and, in return, it would receive preferential treatment in ad auctions.
When did this Google/Facebook deal allegedly begin?
According to WSJ, there is evidence of dealings between Google and Facebook that date back to 2008.
It would seem that the suit is accusing Google of tying together the products it owns to create a monopoly on consumer reach. Don’t forget, Google owns YouTube, a massive source of advertising opportunity.
The lawsuit states that Google:
now uses its immense market power to extract a very high tax of [REDACTED] percent of the ad dollars otherwise flowing to the countless online publishers and content producers like online newspapers, cooking websites and blogs who survive by selling advertisements on their websites and apps…
It goes on to say that it is American consumers who have shouldered the cost of these actions, with inflated prices for goods of questionable quality.
What happens next with the Google lawsuit?
Right now, the state attorney’s general have only filed the case. Google has responded, as you might expect, while Facebook has kept its mouth firmly shut (it is probably too busy looking at Insta-users’ noo-noos to bother with a petty lawsuit).
Looking at the lawsuit and who is bringing the case to the courtroom, one does have to wonder what is really at play, here. Given that all nine of the attorneys general bringing the lawsuit are Republican, could these accusations have a political motive behind them?
It is no secret that both Google and Facebook blocked Donald Trump from making unsubstantiated claims during the 2020 presidential campaign. Perhaps this is the current US government responding in the only way it knows how; by exacting dishonest revenge.
What do you think? Glad to see these companies being investigated? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.