Technology

Google ad business like ‘if Goldman owned the NYSE,’ suit says

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Google used its monopoly power to rig the online advertising market and squash competition, including by colluding with Facebook — and one employee compared the plot to a mega-bank like Goldman Sachs owning the New York Stock Exchange, according to a newly unredacted court filing. 

The search giant controls top brokerages on both the buy-side and sell-side in the online advertising market and takes a 22 percent to 42 percent cut of US ad spending that passes through its systems, according to a new version of a lawsuit the a group of states led by Texas filed against the company. 

That’s two to four times the cut taken by other digital ad exchanges take and serves as evidence of the company’s monopoly position, according to the suit.

One Google employee said the company’s position was akin to “if Goldman or Citibank owned the NYSE,” according to the suit.

Google did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The company had fought to keep many details of the suit redacted, arguing that releasing the information would unfairly hurt its business. 

The unredacted version of the suit, which was filed US following an order from district judge for the Southern District of New York P. Kevin Castel, also contains more details about an alleged plot between Google and Facebook to preserve Google’s dominant position in the online ad space.

This is a developing story.

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