New York Federal judge ruled that the antitrust lawsuit against Google can move forward. With this, the tech giant will face a “multistate antitrust lawsuit” accusing the company of entering in an illegal pact with Meta’s Facebook in 2018, as per CNET.

The lawsuit accused Google of controlling the technology behind online advertising. According to Judge P. Kevin Castel, the advertising deal that Google entered with Facebook violated the antitrust law.

google will face multistate antitrust lawsuit over ad dominance, judge rules
(Photo : Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash)

Google Faces Antitrust Lawsuit Filed by 16 States

According to Bloomberg, in 2020, a lawsuit was filed against Google for allegedly “monopolizing the advertising technology market.”

The lawsuit was filed by the attorney generals from 16 states plus Puerto Rico. Filing of the lawsuit was led by Texas.

Google, in its attempt to have the case dismissed, claimed that “all of the conduct that the states target is legal.”

Google was accused of entering into a secret deal with Meta’s Facebook in 2018. The secret deal, which was tagged as “Jedi Blue,” provides advantages to the social media company on the “exchange it runs to buy and sell online ads.”

As part of the deal, Facebook stopped its plans to employ a new type of technology. Based on reports, the new type of technology that Google abandoned could possibly “undercut” the online advertising monopoly of the tech giant.

But according to Castel “there is nothing inexplicable or suspicious” regarding what pushed the companies go into the deal, dismissing one of the claims. Yet, he allowed the lawsuit to proceed.

Regulators in the U.S. and EU has been criticizing the massive ad tech business of Google.

In an attempt to work around the ongoing antitrust investigation by the European Union, the tech giant said it would “allow third-party ad platforms on YouTube.” Google reportedly did this to avoid paying a hefty fine.

Google Says it Would Continue to Fight the States’ Claims

As Castel ruled out that states can proceed with a “monopolization claim over nationwide markets for publisher ad servers, ad exchanges and ad-buying tools for small advertisers,” Google stated that the company will keep on fighting the said claims.

Google said that they are looking forward to set the record straight, claiming that the advertising technology is a “fiercely competitive industry.”

Furthermore, the company claims that their products increase choice for publishers, advertisers and consumers. Moreover, the tech giant claimed that their products also enable small businesses to “affordably find new customers.”

Meanwhile, when requested for a comment, the Texas attorney general’s office did not issue a statement.

According to Bloomberg, there are parts of Castel’s ruling that went against the states who filed the antitrust lawsuit.

Castel reportedly found that the states failed to provide a reasonable allegation on the anticompetitive conduct tied to Reserve Price Optimization.

The original lawsuit was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and 16 states in 2020. It accused Google causing harm to its competitors.

The original lawsuit alleged that Google is engaging in “false, deceptive, or misleading acts” while conducting its online ad exchange activities.

Keyword: Google Will Face Multistate Antitrust Lawsuit Over Ad Dominance, Judge Rules

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