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Google ad practices under fire in a new lawsuit

Published Fri, Dec 18 2020 13:59 pm
by Sangeetha Arunkumar

Google Branding
 

The Lawsuit Filed by Ten Attorney Generals of US States

 

According to a lawsuit filed by ten states led by Texas are now suing Google for allegedly making an illegal agreement with Facebook, taking illegitimate steps to preserve its monopoly over the digital advertising market. Together with the two tech giants have a bipolarity on web-based advertising, so it’s not that far fetched of a claim. The lawsuit is only the latest salvo in an ongoing battle over big techs' monopolistic and privacy-compromising business practices, which is why the EU is drafting two-part of legislation: “the Digital market act”, and “the Digital service act” that will find tech giants as much as 10% of their worldwide revenues, for offenses like stifling competition and not allowing users to uninstall pre-installed apps. 

 

The objective of the Lawsuit is Google’s control of the digital advertising ecosystem, although Google has begun as a search engine,  it grew quickly through acquisitions, including that of the purchase of DoubleClick the main software that publishers use to sell online advertising in 2007.

 

Google and Facebook in Response to the Lawsuit

 

By rejecting the claims Google says it would be “strongly” defending itself in court. In response to the lawsuit, the company spokesperson said “These are the hallmarks of a highly competitive industry. We have invested in state-of-the-art ad tech services that help businesses and benefit consumers. Digital ad prices have fallen over the last decade. Ad tech fees are falling too. Google’s ad tech fees are lower than the industry average”. Meanwhile, Facebook didn’t respond immediately and declined to comment on the allegations. 

 

Accusations against Google

 

Having republican prosecutors the ten states Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, and Idaho, are suing Google with the following accusation. 

•    Google’s advertising sales account for over 80% of its revenues

•    Google used its new role to benefit other parts of its business like forcing publishers to license its advertising servers. 

•    The firm took steps to secretly undercut innovations that were circumventing its fees

•    Google also got accused of giving Facebook advantages in online advertising markets, in exchange for the firm dropping some of its plans to compete.  

•    Google repeatedly used its monopolistic power to control pricing, engage in market collusion to rig auctions in a tremendous violation of justice

•    By manipulating the advertising auction from the advertisements on the website of a news outlet Google continually taking illegal profit money 

•    Using its power to manipulate the market causing harm to every US Citizen. 

•    Accusing of stealing content from rivals to keep users on its properties, rather than directing them to other sites

 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton added that the tech Giant was a “Goliath of a company”.  He said that causing harm to the webpage is pretty unfair and in other words, by narrating its complete authority and manipulation in the free marketplace as “If the market were a Baseball game Google positioned itself as a pitcher, the batter, and the umpire."

Google Marketing Platform
 

Pressure from Various Claims

 

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a landmark anti-monopoly lawsuit against the firm in October focusing on billions of dollars Google pays each year to ensure Google’s search engine is installed as the default option on browsers and mobile devices. Yet the Texas-led confederacy began to split in the subsequent months as the other states prosecute their lines of investigation beyond the ad market, including Google’s search business and its Android mobile operating system.

Many news providers, publishers, and advertisers have long complained that Google and social networks have prospered by reposting and aggregating news content that leaves them struggling to survive. Eventually, internet giants are increasingly being criticized for their impact on the global media industry, particularly content publishers who have alleged the company is not adequately compensating them for content, leading to a rapid decline in economic sustainability for journalism.

 

 

 


Image Source: Google