Iowa Attorney General joins multistate lawsuit against Google

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 12:51 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced on Thursday he is joining 38 other attorneys general in suing Google LLC for anticompetitive conduct in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, alleges Google is depriving consumers of competition that could lead to greater choice, innovation, and better privacy protections by illegally maintaining monopoly power over general search engines and related advertising markets through anticompetitive exclusionary contracts and conduct.

In a news release, Miller said Google has also exploited its market position to accumulate and leverage data to the detriment of consumers.

“Combined with the other recent lawsuits filed against Google, never before have so many states and the federal government come together to challenge a company with such power,” Miller said. “Google has more data on consumers, and more variety of information, than perhaps any entity in history.”

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Google:

  1. “Uses exclusionary agreements and other practices to limit the ability of rival general search engines and potential rivals to reach consumers. This conduct cements Google as the go-to search engine on computers and mobile devices.
  2. Deceives users of its search-advertising management tool, SA360, by promising that it would not favor Google search advertising over that of competing search engines such as Bing. Instead, Google continuously favors advertising on its own platform, inflating its profits to the detriment of advertisers and consumers.
  3. Discriminates against specialized search sites — such as those that provide travel, home repair, or entertainment services — by depriving them access to prime real estate because these competing sites threaten Google’s revenue and dominant position.”

The lawsuit is consistent with, but expands upon, the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on Oct. 20.

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