Tennessee Joins New Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Tennessee is one of eight states joining the Justice Department in suing Google, alleging that the corporation holds a monopoly on internet advertising that is harmful for advertisers and the public alike.

The U.S. government has recently attempted to up their efforts to reduce the amount of free rein that big tech companies have previously been allowed. California, Virginia, Connecticut, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island are also part of the suit.

The government’s most recent complaint alleges that Google has acquired other companies in an attempt to “neutralize or eliminate rivals” and has given advertisers no choice but to use its products. 

“Monopolies threaten the free and fair markets upon which our economy is based. They stifle innovation, they hurt producers and workers, and they increase costs for consumers,” stated Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Tuesday press conference.

According to Garland, Google has “pursued a course of anti-competitive conduct” for the last 15 years.

“Today’s complaint alleges that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” said Garland. “No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws to protect consumers, safeguard competition, and ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all.”

The Justice Department says that Google is now the owner of the digital tool that is used by a majority of website publishers, the advertising tool used by most online advertisers, and the largest advertising exchange where publishers and advertisers are matched. With Google controlling all sides of the advertising market, Garland says this means “website creators earn less and advertisers pay more.”

In 2022, Google was in control of nearly a third of all digital advertising in the United States. This includes all advertisements shown on devices with internet connections, including phones, tablets, and computers. Facebook’s parent company Meta came in second, holding around 20% of the advertisements. Amazon was third with 11%.

Google was sued by the Trump administration and 11 state attorneys general in October 2020 for another violation of antitrust laws. That suit alleged similar anticompetitive conduct in search and search advertising markets.

Tennessee previously joined with 39 other states in suing Google over its location tracking practices. The state received more than $14 million of a $391.5 million settlement from the company in 2022.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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