Rutledge Joins 10 States Filing Lawsuit Against Google for Anticompetitive Practices and Deceptive Advertising
December 16, 2020
Says, ‘Google’s dominance and control over the digital advertising marketplace can no longer go unchecked’
LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today she joined a multistate coalition of 10 states in a lawsuit against Google for multiple violations of Federal and State antitrust laws, including anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices, and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with its role in the multibillion-dollar online display advertising industry. Google’s monopolization of online display advertising includes an anticompetitive agreement with Facebook, misrepresenting customers, suppressing competition and harming consumers in violation of antitrust and consumer protection laws.
“Google’s dominance and control over the digital advertising marketplace can no longer go unchecked,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans should not be targeted by ad companies that pay the highest amount to pop up in a user’s search. Arkansans deserve to have the most helpful and reliable information at their fingertips.”
The internet revolutionized the way people consume content as well as the type of ads that companies can purchase to reach consumers, including online display ads. In addition to representing both the buyers and the sellers of online display advertising, Google competes directly against the buyers and sellers they separately represent, all while operating the largest exchange of these products. Google’s exchange trades in billions of ad impressions a day.
Today’s lawsuit alleges that Google monopolized, or attempted to monopolize, products and services used by advertisers and publishers in online display advertising. The complaint also alleges that Google engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts while selling, buying and auctioning online display ads. These anticompetitive and deceptive practices demonstrably harmed publishers’ abilities to monetize content, increased advertisers’ costs to advertise and directly harmed consumers.