Google Faces Two Additional Antitrust Suits
December 18, 2020
Two antitrust lawsuits were filed against Google this week by state Attorneys General. On Wednesday, Texas and eight other states filed a suit alleging anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with Google's role in advertising technology. "Google’s entire business model is to collect comprehensive data about every user in the service of brokering targeted ad sales," the suit says. "Google also has violated users’ privacy in other egregious ways when doing so is convenient for Google." On Thursday, a bipartisan group of thirty-eight states led by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser filed a lawsuit alleging that Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over general search engines and related search advertising markets through anticompetitive contracts and conduct. "Google recognizes that its continued market dominance would be vulnerable in a more competitive market," the suit says. "For example, new general search challengers could emerge to offer differentiated services, such as greater privacy protection, search without advertising, or simply better search results." More than a decade ago, EPIC urged the FTC to block Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick. EPIC correctly warned that this acquisition would accelerate Google’s dominance of the online advertising industry and diminish competition. The FTC ultimately allowed the merger to go forward.