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10 states launch antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging it made deals with Facebook to rig online ad market

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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.

‘Within a few short years of executing this unlawful tactic…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.’

Anti-Trust Lawsuit Filed against google

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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Economy

NYC bill trying to repeal ‘sanctuary city’ laws put in place by liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio

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New York lawmakers are introducing a bill this week to undo “sanctuary city” laws approved from 2014-2018 under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat. Council members Robert Holden (D-Queens) and Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) told The New York Post they’ll introduce the bill Thursday.

Among the laws to be reversed include the prohibiting of the NYPD, and Correction and Probation departments from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the cases involve suspected terrorists or serious public safety risks. It would also reverse rules prohibiting city agencies from partnering with ICE to enforce federal immigration laws.

“Sanctuary city laws put all New Yorkers, both immigrants and longtime residents, in danger by preventing the NYPD and DOC from working with ICE,” said Holden, a moderate Dem. “We do not need to import criminals, and only 23 years since 9/11, we have forgotten the deadly consequences of poor interagency communication. We must repeal these laws immediately.”

“Like most things in New York, sanctuary city policy is a social experiment gone off the rails,” said Borelli. “All the problems with these local laws came out during the public-hearing process, but the Council just stepped harder on the gas pedal.”

In February, Mayor Eric Adams called for the rules to be loosened so migrants “suspected” of “serious” crimes could also be turned over to ICE — as they once were under sanctuary city policies implemented as early as 1989 under ex-mayors Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg.

Among public reasons for the push is the murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.  If it wasn’t for the sanctuary city policies, Riley is among other deaths that could have been prevented if the policies were not in place, Holden and other critics have said.

The 22-year-old was found dead Feb. 22 on the University of Georgia’s campus, six months after her alleged killer Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was arrested in Queens and charged with endangering a child.

The Post explains of the case:

The NYPD had no choice but to cut the Venezuelan-born Ibarra loose — instead of turning him over to federal immigration officials — because he didn’t have any major crime convictions.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams shot down the mayor’s idea just one day later, saying she and the rest of the Council’s progressive Democratic majority wouldn’t be considering any rule changes. The bill introduced this week is also likely to face objections from the Council’s left-wing Democratic majority.

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