Texas, 9 other states sue Google for abusing market power

Texas, backed by nine other states, filed a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.-owned Google on Wednesday, accusing it of breaking antitrust law in how it runs its online advertising business.

The Texas lawsuit is the fourth in a series of federal and state lawsuits aimed at reining in alleged bad behaviour by the big tech platforms that have grown significantly in the past two decades. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had previously joined the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit against the company in October, which accused the $1 trillion US California-based company of illegally using its market power to hobble rivals, and was joined by 11 other states when it was filed.

In its lawsuit, Texas argues that Google dominates the path of getting an advertisement from the agency that produces it to a Web page or mobile app that attracts the consumer’s eyeballs.

“Google repeatedly used its monopolistic power to control pricing (and) engage in market collusions to rig auctions in a tremendous violation of justice,” Paxton said in a Facebook video.

The company “eliminated its competition and crowned itself the king of online advertising,” he added.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The nine states that joined Texas are Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho.

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