For years, Google misled advertisers and publishers in auctions for its ads. This is stated in an indictment of more than ten US states, published in full on Friday. The case has been going on since the end of 2020.
Google collected the difference between what it told advertisers and publishers the cost of advertising. The indictment says the company then tampered with the new auctions with these funds. Google denies these allegations.
The way advertisements are traded on the Internet is a complex process. Google plays a major role in this as an auctioneer, but also as a participant. They also have platforms like YouTube that reach consumers. Critics say this could disqualify competitors.
Dealing with Google and Facebook
The indictment also states that Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg authorized a deal in 2018 in which Facebook would win a certain percentage of auctions, which Google also denied. The deal will allow Facebook customers to place more ads than customers of other Google partners.
The complaint said the two companies also agreed on ad price levels. Facebook is said to have agreed to opt out of support programs from Google’s competitors.
At the end of 2020, it has already been announced that a number of US states, including Texas, will prosecute Google for abuse of power with its advertising services. The lawsuit against Google follows a separate claim from the US Department of Justice. He claims that Google has illegally acquired a monopoly on its search engine. Google did this by blocking competitors from major distribution channels.
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