Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Twitter Wednesday that he is suing Google, alleging the tech giant "manipulated digital advertising markets in violation of antitrust laws". The suit includes several states and is being led by Texas.
The complaint follows the Department of Justice and several other states that have already brought antitrust claims again Google. Google "depends on advertising for much of its profits," the Wall Street Journal wrote in a follow up, noting that it reported digital ad revenue of $37.1 billion last quarter.
“This internet Goliath used its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm YOU, the consumer,” Paxton said on Twitter.
#BREAKING: Texas takes the lead once more! Today, we’re filing a lawsuit against #Google for anticompetitive conduct.— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) December 16, 2020
This internet Goliath used its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm YOU, the consumer. Stay tuned… pic.twitter.com/fdEVEWQb0e
Texas’ initial civil subpoena to Google "included more than 200 questions and demands for records," the Journal wrote, noting that "many of the questions appear designed to solicit evidence that Google engaged in anticompetitive conduct in building up its powerful position."
Recall, back in October, we wrote about the DoJ's initial suit against Google. After it was filed, Elizabeth Warren became the first high-profile Democrat to officially step forward and accuse the DoJ of not doing enough to target Google in its latest lawsuit.
AG William Barr released a statement at the time, saying "millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms..." and that "competition in this industry is vitally important."
“Today, millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms...Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google...for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the DOJ and for the American people.” — AG Barr pic.twitter.com/CG8UKXDtZo— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) October 20, 2020
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen accused Google of violating Section 2 of the Sherman Act, the same statute that was used during Bill Clinton's presidency to carry out a host of antitrust litigation, including the landmark case against Microsoft.
"For years there had been concerns about business practices leading to unprecedented concentration in our economy," Rosen began, adding that the anti-trust division has been looking at Google and its anti-trust practices for more than a year now. Rosen called Google a "gatekeeper of the Internet" and "one of the wealthiest companies on the planet", saying it has maintained its monopoly standing via "anticompetitive practices" that are necessary to "enable competition".
If the DoJ doesn't act, Rosen said at the time, Americans could risk missing out on the next wave of companies. If that happens, Americans may never get to see "the next Google."