The plaintiff states originally filed their case in the Eastern District of Texas (No. 4:20-cv-00957 (E.D. Tex. Dec. 16, 2020) alleging that Google monopolized or attempted to monopolize products and services used by advertisers and publishers in online-display advertising on third-party sites. The complaint also alleged that Google engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts while selling, buying and auctioning online-display ads. These anticompetitive and deceptive practices diminished publishers’ ability to monetize content, increased advertisers’ costs to advertise and directly harmed consumers. Google represents both the buyers and the sellers of online-display advertising and Google competes directly against the buyers and sellers they separately represent—all while operating the largest exchange on which these ad products are bought and sold. the states alleged violations of Sherman Act sec. 2 (unlawful monopoly maintenance, attempted monopoly in markets related to online display advertising, and unlawful tying) Sherman Act sec. 1 (an illegal agreement with Facebook) and violated state consumer protection and deceptive trade laws through their representations to publishers and to consumer
The case was consolidated with other antitrust litigation against Google in the Southern District of New York. That court denied in part and granted in part Google’s motion to dismiss. The court declined to dismiss the states’ claims of unlawful tying; monopolization in
the nationwide markets for (1) publisher ad servers, (2) ad exchanges and (3) ad-buying tools for small advertisers; and attempt-to-monopolize in the nationwide market for ad buying tools for large advertisers and an alternative claim for attempt to monopolize the markets for ad exchanges and ad-buying tools for small advertisers. The court dismissed the states’ restraint of trade claim involving Google’s agreement with Facebook. The court declined to consider Google’s claims of laches.