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Google asks California federal judge to toss yet another antitrust class action suit

12 November 2020

Google argues that plaintiffs fail to demonstrate that advertising with Facebook and other online platforms isn't 'reasonably interchangeable' with Google display advertising

A lawsuit filed in California by Florida-based Prana Pets - a supplier of cat and dog herbal products - and others alleges that Google has:

“...leveraged its stranglehold on online search and search advertising to gain an illegal monopoly in brokering display advertising...”

and that Google has obtained market dominance by:

"...acquiring rivals in the online advertising space, conditioning access to its search-results data and YouTube video advertising platform upon the purchase of its separate display advertising services, and ensuring those systems were not compatible with those of its competitors in online advertising.”

In documents filed with the US District Court in California this week, Google argued that the suit should be dismissed because:

  • “Plaintiffs’ proposed market for 'online display advertising services' on the 'open web' improperly excludes other ways for advertisers to reach website publishers without using Google’s products and services, and also improperly excludes the many alternatives to online display advertising..."
  • Other companies including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Amazon require use of their own ad systems and the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that advertising with those companies is not "reasonably interchangeable" with using Google's display ad services.
  • Plaintiff's complaint doesn't demonstrate that they overpaid for ads.

U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman is expected to hold a hearing on the suit in April 2021.

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