Thirteen American States File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Internet Giant Google.
A coalition of states in the United States is expected to file an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google alleging that it altered the designs of its search engine to the disadvantage of rivals that offer specialized search results. The lawsuit could be filed as soon as Thursday, Dec. 17, and is much different from the one that the U.S. Justice Department filed against Google in October, according to reports.
The action was apparently prompted by complaints by publishers and other businesses whose publications rely solely on advertising revenue to survive. A Texas attorney general said he was suing Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG -0.49% Google unit on behalf of a coalition of states, alleging the company violated antitrust laws in manipulating digital advertising markets.
“This internet Goliath used its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm YOU, the consumer,” the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Twitter Wednesday. The new lawsuit targeting the company’s digital advertising business opens a second major front for government claims that Google illegally suppresses competition.
The Justice Department suit has led a burst of antitrust cases against some of Silicon Valley’s most titanic companies, including a suit that the Federal Trade Commission and dozens of states filed last week seeking a breakup of Facebook. Future state- and DOJ-led lawsuits targeting other aspects of Google’s ad-driven business are expected in the coming weeks and months. The DOJ is also probing Apple, and the FTC has been investigating Amazon, though those cases are in earlier stages.
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