Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that Alaska, Florida, Montana, Nevada, and Puerto Rico are joining the Texas-led, bipartisan antitrust lawsuit against Google that Paxton filed previously (December 2020) with nine other states – bringing a total of fifteen states/territories to have joined the lawsuit. Paxton’s office filed the amended complaint including the five new plaintiffs today. The lawsuit lists a myriad of complaints. The complaint notes that Google dominates the online ad market.
“In addition to representing both the buyers and the sellers of online display advertising, Google also operates the largest exchange, AdX. In this electronically traded market, Google is pitcher, batter, and umpire, all at the same time.Texas, et al v. Google – amended complaint, (emphasis added)
In the press release today, Paxton stated he was proud to welcome the additional five plaintiffs stating that “today’s filing underscores the broad consensus that Google’s practices require review and swift action under antitrust and consumer protection laws.”:
“I’m proud to welcome Alaska, Florida, Montana, Nevada, and Puerto Rico to our multistate lawsuit against this monopolistic tech giant. Today’s filing underscores the broad consensus that Google’s practices require review and swift action under antitrust and consumer protection laws,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Google collects thousands of data points about people and uses that information for its own gain while lying to advertisers, publishers, and consumers about their conduct and underlying motives. We will not allow this unprecedented, unlawful conduct to continue. Our coalition looks forward to holding Google accountable for its illegal conduct and reforming Google’s practices in the future. And we are confident Google will be forced to pay for its misconduct through significant financial penalties.”Press Release, TX AG Ken Paxton
The current plaintiffs in the last suit against Google include: Texas, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Texas.
Google is an advertising company that makes billions of dollars a year by deceptively using individuals’ personal information to engage in targeted digital advertising. Google has extended its reach from search advertising to dominate the online advertising landscape for image-based ads on the web, called “display ads.” In its complexity, the market for display ads resembles the most complicated financial markets; publishers and advertisers trade display inventory through brokers and on electronic exchanges and networks at lightning speed. As of 2020, Google is a company standing at the apex of power in media and advertising, generating over $161 billion annually with staggering profit margins, almost all from advertising.Texas, et al v. Google – amended complaint, (emphasis added)