OMAHA, Neb. — Dozens of states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Thursday, alleging that the search giant has an illegal monopoly over the online search market that hurts consumers and advertisers.
The lawsuit was announced in a virtual press conference by four state Attorneys General including Doug Peterson of Nebraska and Tom Miller of Iowa and was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.
The lawsuit was joined by the attorneys general of 31 other states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. The case is the third antitrust salvo to slam Google during the past two months as the Department of Justice and attorneys general from across the U.S. weigh in with their different variations on how they believe the company is abusing its immense power.
“After 14 months of a rigorous investigation, it is apparent that Google is engaged in anticompetitive behavior to protect its market dominance in search and search advertising. The fact that so many states have joined the complaint is evidence of how important this case is to maintain competition in the digital economy,” stated Attorney General Peterson.
The states allege that Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over general search engines and related advertising markets through a series of anticompetitive exclusionary contracts and conduct. As a result, Google has deprived consumers of competition that could lead to greater choice, innovation, and better privacy protections. Furthermore, Google has exploited its market position to accumulate and leverage data to the detriment of consumers.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in conjunction with a Motion to Consolidate seeking to combine the states’ case with the pending U.S. DOJ case. The states’ investigation was led by an executive committee made up of the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. The executive committee is joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico.
Associated Press contributed to the reporting of this story
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