Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) announced Wednesday that he’s spearheading a 10-state lawsuit against Google, claiming that the foremost search engine was illegally quashing competitors and running an online advertising monopoly, in violation of federal antitrust laws. Additionally, the suit claims that online giant had reached an improper auction-rigging deal with Facebook to maintain its dominance, according to the lawsuit.
Joining the Lone Star State in the case are the attorneys general from the states of Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. The states are asking the court for “structural, behavioral, and monetary relief” to stop Google from abusing monopoly power, according to the suit.
This comes a week after 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam, filed a massive antitrust lawsuit against Facebook for monopolistic practices coupled with a separate antitrust lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the same day.
The complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Texas, alleges that the social media giant in 2017 rose as a major new competitor to Google’s established grip on the online advertising market. In response to this business threat, the complaint says, Google initiated a deal with Facebook that allowed the search behemoth to preserve its powerful position in a crucial area of the online advertising market, while guaranteeing Facebook would receive a certain share of the ad auctions that Google runs.
“Within a few short years of executing this unlawful tactic,” the suit reads, “Google successfully monopolized the publisher ad server market and grew its ad exchange to number one, despite having entered those two markets much later than the competition.”
“This internet Goliath used its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm YOU, the consumer,” Paxton’s office posted on Twitter Wednesday.
In a video attached to the tweet, Paxton said that “Google effectively eliminated its competition and crowned itself the head of online advertising.”
In a tweet below the video, the office added to its statement that “Google’s monopolization of the display-advertising industry stifle innovation, limit consumer choice and reduce competition. Texas and its coalition of allied states bring this action to lift the veil on #Google’s secret practices.”
Following the announcement of the suit, Google denied that it had engaged in such behavior.
“Attorney General Paxton’s ad tech claims are meritless, yet he’s gone ahead in spite of all the facts. We’ve invested in state-of-the-art ad tech services that help businesses and benefit consumers,” a Google spokesperson told both The Hill and The Wall Street Journal. “We will strongly defend ourselves from his baseless claims in court.”
Back in October, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an antitrust case against Google, accusing the technology giant of illegally maintaining a monopoly on online searches and search advertising.
A different batch of state attorneys general is also expected to file a separate lawsuit against Google as soon as this week, The Hill and The Wall Street Journal report, with the focus reportedly on its search business.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Growing IRS is Biggest Police State Expansion in History
The Democrats’ new reconciliation bill is “going to be the largest expansion of the domestic police state in American history” reports The Federalist. The Federal Government “already collects $4.1 trillion every year—or $12,300 for every citizen” yet believes it “needs 80 new battalions of new IRS cops.”
The job posting itself listed prerequisites for agents who can “Carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre promised that the IRS wouldn’t engage in new audits of anyone making under $400,000, an attempt at saying, essentially, the middle class is ‘safe.’
Connecticut’s Chris Murphy also said that the bill was passed to stop an “epidemic of tax cheating amongst the millionaires and billionaires” and promised that “audit rates won’t increase for anyone making under $400K.”
“This is a lie” adds The Federalist. “Nothing in the bill that Democrats passed through the Senate limits audits. Murphy, along with every other Democrat in the Senate, voted against a Republican amendment that would have prevented new agents from auditing individuals and small businesses with less than $400,000 of taxable income.”
The IRS doesn’t simply collect taxes, it also enforces speech codes. The Federalist reminds readers:
This is what empowered Lois Lerner to target conservatives groups – “crazies and “a—holes” — who used words like “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their names. But, even at the time, leftists at The New York Times editorial board praised the IRS for going after conservative groups because they did not “primarily” engage in “social welfare,” and so did not deserve an exemption under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. Has anything in the evolution of the Democratic Party given you confidence that such power would not be abused or that an engorged IRS would be immune from political pressure?
Wrestling with a insanely complex tax code — nearly 8 million words — costs Americans billions every year. Rather than flattening and simplifying this astonishingly convoluted code, which not only would have saved citizens but the government money, Democrats decided we needed up to another 87,000 people to enforce it.
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