Chilivis Grubman alerted you to the DOJ’s decision to go after tech giant Google using the antitrust laws in October. Now, Texas is leading a coalition of state attorneys general that seemingly plan to piggyback on that strategy. The states are looking into Google’s dominant presence in the digital advertising market. To that end, Texas served a civil subpoena last year.
But Texas is taking a different approach. The state will use private lawyers to launch its antitrust attack on Google. The Texas Attorney General intends to hire the Lanier Law Firm, a prominent trial firm with Texas roots, as well as Keller Lenkner, a Chicago-based firm focused on complex litigation. The Lanier Law Firm, led by Mark Lanier, is known for its work in product liability cases against some of the world’s largest companies, including pharmaceutical giants, oil companies, and more, recovering billions of dollars in the process.
The states’ focus is on Google’s ad-tech business, which enables consumers to pay for the use of software to buy and sell ads on sites across the web. According to the state attorneys general, Google owns the primary tool at every point in the ad-tech process, which means it controls the monetization of that process. Google’s would-be competitors claim that the it uses the software across its other sites, like YouTube, to gain an anticompetitive advantage.
Google has denied any anticompetitive behavior. In fact, Google notes that it operates in highly competitive markets for online advertising, and points to the benefits that its services offer to consumers and businesses alike.
The state coalition is said to be coordinating with the DOJ, which has been gathering information regarding the Google ad process under the auspices of its ongoing litigation efforts. The use of private lawyers to act on behalf of the state is not a new concept, but it could be significant resource in the current legal battle against one of the world’s largest businesses.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman have extensive experience defending clients against DOJ enforcement actions. If you need help with such a matter, contact us today.