Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amended complaint alleging antitrust violations and deceptive acts by Google in its lucrative online display advertising business. Attorneys General from Alaska, Florida, Montana, Nevada, and Puerto Rico joined the lawsuit originally filed by a coalition of 10 states, led by Texas, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 15 states and territories in this landmark case.
“I’m proud to welcome Alaska, Florida, Montana, Nevada, and Puerto Rico to our multistate lawsuit against this monopolistic tech giant. Today’s filing underscores the broad consensus that Google’s practices require review and swift action under antitrust and consumer protection laws,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Google collects thousands of data points about people and uses that information for its own gain while lying to advertisers, publishers, and consumers about their conduct and underlying motives. We will not allow this unprecedented, unlawful conduct to continue. Our coalition looks forward to holding Google accountable for its illegal conduct and reforming Google’s practices in the future. And we are confident Google will be forced to pay for its misconduct through significant financial penalties.”
Like the original Complaint filed in December 2020, the Amended Complaint that was filed yesterday alleges multiple violations of federal and state antitrust and consumer protection laws, including anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices, and deceptive misrepresentation in connection with Google’s role in the multi-trillion-dollar online display advertising industry. Google’s monopolization includes an anticompetitive agreement with Facebook, making misrepresentations to users and customers, and suppressing competition. Google demonstrably diminished publishers’ ability to monetize content, increased advertisers’ costs, and directly harmed consumers.