Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has said that the antitrust allegations in the Texas lawsuit are “misleading” as attorney generals from 10 states plan to sue the company.
Google accused of ant competitiveness
Last year ten state attorney generals led by Texas filed a complaint against the company claiming that it unlawfully acquired or maintained a monopoly in online advertising including sell and buy sides. The lawsuit claimed that the company unlawfully entered agreements between its ad products forcing publishers to utilize another Google tool for choosing to run on Google ad exchange.
According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the suit against the company’s ad tech business is among the several complaints against the tech giant. The company allegedly abused its internet search business dominance and broke antitrust regulations. The complaint claimed that Google and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) conspired to harm competition through an unlawful agreement to fix prices and rig auctions. Facebook had initially planned to enter the ad tech space but it cut a deal with Google to stem competition. As part of this deal, Google gave Facebook some advantages in auctions running from mobile app adverting inventory.
Google rubbishes ad tech antitrust claims
Google has responded to the allegations and its Economic Policy Director, Adam Cohen stated that the company wants to clarify things and dispel theories around the open bidding ad process. In a blog post, Cohen said the AG Paxton is trying to paint Google’s involvement in the industry as nefarious. He explains that this is not true because a company like Google, unlike other B2B companies, has the incentive of maintaining a positive user experience as well as sustainable internet that works for all publishers, advertisers, and consumers.
The blog post further indicates that the rates that Google charges are fair and the lowest compared to the industry’s average. This is even as digital ad prices and ad tech fees continue to fall in recent times. Cohen added that the Google marketplace is open to all its partners without any inclination towards a specific partner as alluded by AG Paxton.