In a lawsuit filed by 16 states in the US and the island of Puerto Rico against Google, Google is accused of entering into an agreement with Facebook to undermine a network that sells ads by publishers.
The lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argues Google abused its monopoly on a technology network used to sell ads online. According to the complaint, when publishers began using a system to sell ad space online, Google sought to weaken it by creating a similar system. Not only that, Google also signed an agreement with Facebook for this social network to participate in efforts to “destroy” the competitive scheme of publishers.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Photo: NYT)
Recently, part of the lawsuit continues to be revealed. Accordingly, Google CEO Sundar Pichai is accused of approving the terms of the agreement himself. Mr. Pichai has been CEO of Google since 2015. The lawsuit also includes details about programs that states allege Google uses to mislead buyers and sellers of ad space about the nature of the calls. bids they attend, helping Google make more money in the process.
In response, a Google spokesperson asserted that the complaint is inaccurate and lacks legality.
The lawsuit also cites a section from the February 2017 “Facebook document”, which mentions that Google wants to “destroy” the competitive system and that if Facebook joins hands, it will help significantly. At one point, Facebook employees emailed founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with the content: “We are almost ready to sign and need your approval to continue.” While Zuckerberg’s name is blacked out in the lawsuit, his title is not.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said the agreement with Google and “similar arrangements we have with other bidding platforms increases competition for ad purchases.” .
The antitrust case is one of several brought against the tech giants by US government agencies over the past two years. The US Department of Justice and a group of states are suing Google for abusing its search advertising monopoly. This week, a judge said the US Federal Trade Commission will continue its case against Facebook. Apple and Amazon are also facing antitrust claims.
Du Lam (According to NYT)
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