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Google Faces Lawsuit From Multiple States Over Digital Ad Tactics

A new lawsuit from multiple states alleges that Google used its digital advertising business to harm consumers, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton‘s office announced on Twitter that it would be pursuing such legal action.

“This internet Goliath used its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm YOU, the consumer,” Paxton’s office said in a tweet Wednesday (Dec. 16), according to WSJ.

In addition to Texas, states involved in the suit include Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah, WSJ reported.

Paxton, in a video included in the tweet, said there was a multi-state group pursuing this legal action. He said Google had engaged in “anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices and deceptive misrepresentations,” using its monopoly presence in the advertising world in order to control pricing and rig advertising auctions.

Google’s advertising business is among its most profitable, according to WSJ, with parent company Alphabet reporting $37.1 billion in digital ad revenue in its last quarterly report. And new legal action against Google for its advertising only complicates things further for the tech giant, which is staring down lawsuits already over its search business.

While the company had no comment to WSJ, Google has denied any allegations of antitrust violations in the past, saying it didn’t force anyone to use its products for search engines and had engaged in “highly competitive markets” with services that benefited both consumers and businesses.

Paxton has been on the front lines against Google before. He led a 48-state investigation into the company’s practices in 2019. Earlier this month, he said more states could still add their names to the lawsuit against Google.

Facebook is also set to face legal action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and numerous states, with FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra saying U.S. officials should push back against Facebook’s opinion that enforcement against U.S. firms would only benefit Chinese interests.

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