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States file antitrust lawsuit against Google's advertising business

Credit: Greg Bulla

Last updated

A group of state attorneys general led by Texas have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google focused on the company's advertising technology and its dominance in the ad industry.

The complaint, filed on Wednesday, goes after Google's alleged stranglehold on the advertising technology market. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the lawsuit in a clip, though the full complaint is not currently available.

In the announcement clip, Paxton claims that Google uses its monopoly power to control pricing and "engage in market collusion to rig auctions." He adds that Google has eliminated its competition and "crowned itself the head of online advertising."

"If the free market were a baseball game, Google positioned itself as the pitcher, the batter and the umpire," Paxton said.

Multiple states will join Texas in the lawsuit, though Paxton has yet to announce which other states are involved. CNBC reports that the other states are all Republican-led.

The Texas attorney general is also part of a separate antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.

The new complaint follows several months after the Department of Justice lodged its own lawsuit against the search and advertising giant, though the department's lawsuit focuses on the company's search business. However, the Justice Department is also investigating Google's ad tech dominance and could still file a lawsuit for that.

Politico on Wednesday reported that another bipartisan coalition of states, led by the attorneys general of Colorado and Nebraska, could soon launch a third lawsuit against Google.