Texas, other states bring antitrust lawsuit against Google

Ten GOP state attorneys general on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the search giant of illegally stifling competition in the advertising technology market.

The lawsuit is led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who was joined by Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho.

“This Goliath of a company is using its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition and harm you, the consumer,” Paxton said in a video posted on Twitter.

“It isn’t fair that Google effectively eliminated its competition and crowned itself the head of online advertising,” he said.

The 118-page lawsuit alleges that Google used its market power to unlawfully box-out competitors in the ad tech space.

It highlights Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick in 2008 as the point where the company started using its position to gain leverage against publishers and ad exchanges.

“Within a few short years of executing this unlawful tactic, Google successfully monopolized the publisher ad server market and grew its ad exchange to number one, despite having entered those two markets much later than the competition,” the suit reads.

The complaint also says that Google uses its market power to extract a tax from ad spending that ultimately hurts American consumers through higher prices and lower quality.

A spokesperson for Google pushed back on the suit’s claims, pointing out that digital ad prices and ad tech fees have fallen in the time that the company was allegedly monopolizing the market.