Google ad practices under fire in new lawsuit

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Ten US states, led by Texas, are suing Google, accusing it of taking illegal steps to preserve its monopoly over the online advertising market.

The alleged moves include striking a deal with Facebook to manipulate online advertising auctions, the states said.

This is the latest legal complaint facing the tech giant, which is under pressure from regulators globally.

Google rejected the claims, saying it would be “strongly” defending itself in court.

“We’ve invested in state-of-the-art ad tech services that help businesses and benefit consumers. Digital ad prices have fallen over the last decade. Ad tech fees are falling too. Google’s ad tech fees are lower than the industry average,” a company spokesperson said in response to Wednesday’s lawsuit. “These are the hallmarks of a highly competitive industry.”

The lawsuit adds to the scrutiny facing Google’s operations, in which it serves as both a search engine serving up results, as well as a broker of online advertising sales.