Google Tilts Market In Its Own Favor, Lawsuit Alleges

According to officials, Google allegedly maintains control over the advertising sales market by inflating the price of ads for brands and suppressing competition from other advertising exchanges.

Documents which came to light last week were filed as part of a lawsuit against Google by the attorneys general of multiple US states. Filed in 2020, the lawsuit claimed that Google was misleading advertisers and publishers about the price and process of their advertising auctions.

The complaint alleges that Google pockets the difference between what it tells publishers and advertisers that an ad costs. They then used the pool of money to manipulate future auctions with the goal of expanding its digital monopoly. Furthermore, the documents cite internal messages whereby Google employees stated that it was as if they were using “insider information” to grow their business.

“Our amended complaint details how Google manipulates the online display auction to punish publishers and blatantly lies to them about how they run the auction,” said Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton.

Google Not The Only One

According to the Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit also claims that executives at Facebook and Google signed off on a deal to assure that Facebook would bid on, and win, a set percentage of ads.

If Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, is found to have personally approved said deal, he could be found to be complicit in the expansion of Google’s monopoly over the the advertising market through manipulation.

The new details come as more and more tech companies face increasing scrutiny over alleged anti-competitive practices. Earlier last week, a US judge ruled that the government can go ahead with a lawsuit that aims to break up Meta in an effort to loosen the company’s intense grip on the market.

Social Snack Bar
Social Snack Bar
Social Snack Bar aims to provide news and information about Marketing, Media and Communications in South Africa.

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