New York federal judge Kevin Castel has ruled that an antitrust case brought by multiple state attorneys general accusing Google of adtech monopoly can go ahead. He nevertheless rejected one of the allegations, and not the least…
The case can go forward, but the Blue Jedi deal is no longer involved
Dating back to 2020, the complaint was filed by 16 states and territories led by Texas. She depicted how Google wields a crushing monopoly in the advertising business, and also explained that the Mountain View firm had established a secret pact with Meta, then Facebook, named Blue Jedi.
In particular, this gave many advantages to Meta over the auctions managed by Google to buy and sell online advertisements. In exchange, Mark Zuckerberg’s company abandoned plans to adopt a new type of technology that would have undermined Google’s monopoly on online advertising. Google, of course, tried to have the lawsuits dismissed, claiming that the practices described by state prosecutors were legal.
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Finally, judge Kevin Castel has delivered his verdict and ensures that the case can continue. While he accepted the argument that Google manipulated the auctions in such a way that his own products almost always won, he dismissed the claim about the Blue Jedi deal, reports Bloomberg. According to him, ” there is nothing inexplicable or suspicious in what led the companies to enter into this agreement.
For Google, the complaint is flawed
Google was quick to react to this decision in a blog post. According to the Mountain View firm, the fact that this allegation was not retained proves that the complaint does not hold water:
“Today’s decision underscores how deeply flawed Attorney General Paxton’s case is. As we’ve long said, advertising technology is a fiercely competitive industry – and our products expand choice for publishers, advertisers and consumers while enabling small businesses to find new customers at an affordable price. We look forward to establishing the truth about the other allegations”.
Google is targeted from all sides
If Google’s defense remains the same in all circumstances, namely the incredible competitiveness of the markets in which it operates, its advertising activities are also targeted by the European authorities who deem them anti-competitive. In the US, a competition and transparency bill could even lead to the dismantling of the company’s advertising business if passed.
Advertising is also not the only sector for which Google is in the sights of regulators. The company is also accused of spending billions to stifle search engine competition. This case is expected to lead to one of the most significant antitrust lawsuits in US history.