Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Tuesday that four more states – Alaska, Florida, Montana, Nevada, and Puerto Rico (an unincorporated territory of the U.S.) — have joined a lawsuit filed by Texas and others against Alphabet Inc’s Google that accuses it of breaking antitrust laws to benefit its already dominant advertising business.
This brings the number of plaintiffs in the lawsuit to 15 states and territories.
The lawsuit was one of three filed last year by the federal government or states against Google.
The lawsuit accuses Google of violating the law in how it dominates the steps in the process of placing ads online. It alleges Google quietly teams with its closest online advertising competitor, Facebook, and that it uses the excuse of protecting users’ privacy to act unfairly. Publishers complain that one result has been lower revenues.
The amended complaint states that Facebook and Google “work together to identify users using Apple products,” without elaborating. Apple Inc in recent years on its Safari browser and iPhones has increased ways to block what it views as privacy-intrusive user tracking by ad tech companies, some of which have tried to devise circumvention measures.
MacDailyNews Take: Google is an online advertising monopoly masquerading as a search engine. Effective antitrust action against Google that restores competition into the the online search and advertising markets would be very welcome (while we’re still here, please)!
The unfortunately ubiquitous search engine is a mechanism for tracking users in order to deliver targeted advertising to them.
We’d like to see real competition in the online search and advertising markets restored someday. — MacDailyNews, March 20, 2019
With this unprecedented power, platforms have the ability to redirect into their pockets the advertising dollars that once went to newspapers and magazines. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t. — MacDailyNews, November 9, 2017