Google misled publishers and advertisers for years about the pricing and processes of its ad auctions, creating secret programs that deflated sales for some companies while increasing prices for buyers, according to newly unredacted allegations and details in a lawsuit by state attorneys general.
Meanwhile, Google pocketed the difference between what it told publishers and advertisers that an ad cost and used the pool of money to manipulate future auctions to expand its digital monopoly, the newly unredacted complaint alleges. The documents cite internal correspondence in which Google employees said some of these practices amounted to growing its business through “insider information.”
The unredacted filing on Friday in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York came after a federal judge ruled this week that an amended complaint filed last year could be unsealed.
The lawsuit was first filed in December 2020, with many sections of the complaint redacted. Since then, the redactions have been stripped away in a series of rulings, providing fresh details about the states’ argument that Google runs a monopoly that harmed ad-industry competitors and publishers.
Google said it intends to file a motion to dismiss it next week. A company spokesman said the lawsuit was “full of inaccuracies and lacks legal merit.” He added, “our advertising technologies help websites and apps fund their content, and…