AG RAVNSBORG AND 10 STATES FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST GOOGLE FOR ANTICOMPETITIVE PRACTICES AND DECEPTIVE MISREPRESENTATIONS

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg announced today that the State of South Dakota has joined a multistate coalition of 10 states in a lawsuit against Google for multiple violations of Federal and State Antitrust Laws, including anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices, and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with its role in the multibillion-dollar online display advertising industry. Google's monopolization of online display advertising includes an anticompetitive agreement with Facebook, misrepresenting customers, suppressing competition and harming consumers in violation of antitrust and consumer protection laws.

The internet has revolutionized the way people consume content. This has also changed the type of ads that companies can buy to reach consumers, including online display ads. In addition to representing both the buyers and the sellers of online display advertising, Google competes directly against the buyers and sellers they separately represent, all while operating the largest exchange of these products. Google's exchange results in billions of ad impressions every day.

"Unfair trade practices can impact South Dakotans even when they don't realize they are the target," said Ravnsborg. "As attorney general I utilize my consumer protection division to watch out for the well-being of our citizens, and this case allows us to shine a light on these unfair, deceptive, and damaging business actions."

Today's lawsuit alleges that Google monopolized, or attempted to monopolize, products and services used by advertisers and publishers in online display advertising. The complaint also alleges that Google engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts while selling, buying and auctioning online display ads. These anticompetitive and deceptive practices demonstrably harmed publisher's ability to monetize content, increased advertiser's costs to advertise and directly harmed consumers.

Please click here to read the lawsuit.