Ten U.S. states are suing Google for breaking the law when selling online ads. It covers the states of Texas, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.
The Texas Public Prosecutor claims that Google has performed “false, misleading and deceptive ” acts in advertising sales, restricting competition. According to Reuters, the issue is that the company itself can win advertising auctions, even if others offer higher.
“Google is a multi-million-dollar monopoly that shamelessly misuses its monopolistic power,” says prosecutor Ken Paxton. “It acts as both the pitcher, the catcher, the batter and the referee,” he compares the tech giant practice to a baseball game.
According to the state, both advertisers, publishers and consumers are being penalised. Google’s actions would have resulted in publishers earning less, increased advertising costs and reduced consumer choice.
In a response, Google states that the allegations made by the Texas State’s attorney have “no value”. “Despite all the facts, he continues.” According to the internet giant, the advertising technology that it employs benefits businesses and consumers. “We will defend ourselves vigorously before the court.”
In October, the US Department of Justice sued Google for abuse of power. From the European Commission, the company was fined several billion dollars for the same reason.