Google is finishing the week with more antitrust headaches. Reuters reports a group of Texas-led US states has filed an amended version of its lawsuit against Google over alleged abuses of power in the online ad business. The updated complaint provides more detail about Google’s purported efforts to stifle competition, including the secret “Project Bernanke” ad buying program.
The states said Google used Project Bernanke in 2015 to drop the second-highest bids from publishers’ ad auctions, pool money and pour those those funds into only those bids using Google Ads. That gave Google Ads bidders an unfair advantage and helped them win auctions they likely would have lost, according to the revised lawsuit.
We’ve asked Google for comment. It previously confirmed the existence of Project Bernanke, but maintained there was no wrongdoing and that the states’ lawsuit “misrepresents” its ad business. The refreshed lawsuit may pose additional challenges to Google, though. At the least, the amendment underscores the states’ attitude toward Google — they’re determined to curb its behavior.
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