Google is facing another round of antitrust troubles — a group of states led by Texas is filing a new amended lawsuit over reported abuses of power by the search engine giant, a report from Engadget says.
The report says the complaint has added more details about Google’s reported attempts to cut down on competition.
That includes the secret “Project Bernanke” from 2015, which Google allegedly used to cut out the second-highest bids from publisher ad auctions, pool money and then pour those funds into bids from Google Ads. This gave the bidders for Google Ads an unfair advantage, letting them win auctions they were unlikely to otherwise.
Google had previously acknowledged the existence of Project Bernanke, but the tech giant says there was nothing wrong with the project and that the lawsuit has misrepresented its purposes.
The lawsuit might still make things more difficult for Google, though, with the amendment showing the states’ tenacity, the report says.
In other Google antitrust-related news, the company lost an appeal before the General Court of the European Union last week (Nov. 10). It came about because of a 2017 decision by the European Commission, which laid down a $2.8 billion fine against Google for telling users to use its own comparison-shopping ads over its rivals’.
According to the EC, Google in 2017 had been taking advantage of its dominant position for online general search services in several countries, favoring its own services.
The court said Google had “departed from competition on the merits” and had favored “its own comparison-shopping service” with more desirable display and positioning.
In a statement, Google said its shopping ads had always “helped people find the products they are looking for quickly and easily,” and had helped merchants find more customers. Google said its approach had been working for years and had generated “billions of clicks.”