Timeline on Internet Advertising Monopoly Lawsuit
Led by the State of Texas, a group of U.S. states and territories sued Google in 2020 for illegally monopolizing the digital advertising market. They argue that Google’s dominance in buying, selling, and serving display advertising is anticompetitive and amounts to the firm “acting as the pitcher, catcher, batter and umpire, all at the same time.” The lawsuit alleges that Google has stifled innovation, killed competition, and harmed customers and consumers – and that Google gained its monopoly power through violating federal and state antitrust law.
Specifically, the Texas suit alleges that Google manipulates its advertising exchange to simultaneously underpay publishers and force advertisers to unknowingly overpay, pocketing the difference. The suit alleges that Google excludes competing advertisers from the market by intentionally tying different parts of its advertising services together, locking publishers and advertisers into using Google products over those of its competitors. The States also say that Google struck an illegal deal with Facebook, referred to as “Jedi Blue,” to eliminate competition that threatened Google’s ad monopoly. As part of that illegal deal, the suit claims Google rigs ad auctions in Facebook’s favor.
The States seek billions of dollars in monetary relief and are asking the Court to break up Google’s illegal advertising empire.