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Google Accused Of Colluding With Facebook In Violating Antitrust Law In A Case Filed By Texas And Nine US States

Google Accused Of Colluding With Facebook In Violating Antitrust Law In A Case Filed By Texas And Nine US States
A lawsuit was filed against the United States based tech giant Google by Texas and nine other states over charges that the company was working in partnership with the social media giant Facebook Inc in an illegal manner and violated antitrust law to further expand its online advertising business which is already a dominant players in the market.
The Alphabet Inc-owned company, which has complete control over one third of the total global advertising revenues, was asked by the US states to compensate them for damages while also seeking “structural relief” which is generally viewed as a demand for forcing a company to divest or sell off some of its existing assets.
This latest case filed against Google is the second major lawsuit filed against the company by regulators and the fourth in a slew of federal and state lawsuits which are aimed at regulating and controlling the alleged bad behaviour of the Big Tech companies that have grown very large over the last two decades.
The lawsuit filed by Texas was described as “meritless” by Google. No comment on the issue was available from Facebook.
With this latest lawsuit, the legal problems for Google have increased as the company is also expected to face a third antitrust lawsuit by more than 30 attorneys general on Thursday, claimed reports quoting information from sources.
A separate antitrust lawsuit against eth company was also filed in court by online publishers  including the news website The Nation and Genius Media Group over allegations that Google’s dominance in online ads had resulted in revenue loss for them. The law suit seeks class action status.
A judge was asked by Texas in the lawsuit to hold Google guilty of breaking antitrust law as well as seeking an order to stop the violation. In the case, Texas has alleged that Google had abused its monopoly over the digital ads market and taking steps to ensure that its own exchange wins ad auctions even though there were other bidders had made higher bids. The company was also accused of overcharging publishers for ads.
The lawsuit also accused illegal collaboration between Google and Facebook. While fiercely competing heavily in internet ad sales, the two companies together dominates more than half of the global online ad market.
“As internal Google documents reveal, Google sought to kill competition and has done so through an array of exclusionary tactics, including an unlawful agreement with Facebook, its largest potential competitive threat,” the lawsuit said.
Concerns expressed publicly previously by Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp and other media companies to regulators in the United States and Europe about two years ago were also echoed in the lawsuit that was filed by Texas in the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint said that in order to gain dominance among publishers, Google lowered its fees to near zero. It has also been alleged that Google and resorted to deceptive tricks to conjure transactions between publishers and advertisers while also forcing both the parties to pay a fee to the company for doing so.
“If the free market were a baseball game, Google positioned itself as the pitcher, the batter and the umpire,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a video posted on Twitter.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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