Thirty-eight states and territories led by Colorado sued Google on Thursday, alleging the internet giant is using illegal, anti-competitive business practices to maintain an online monopoly.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, says Google has unfairly excluded other search engines from reaching consumers, and has limited competition by refusing to allow its advertising tools to function with other search engines. Google also wrongly pushed some websites from its top search results, according to a news release from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.
Google’s practices have limited consumers’ choices, infringed on their privacy and solidified Google’s position as a monopoly, according to the statement.
“Google’s anti-competitive actions have protected its general search monopolies and excluded rivals, depriving consumers of the benefits of competitive choices, forestalling innovation and undermining new entry or expansion,” Weiser said in the statement.
The lawsuit follows a similar action Weiser and 45 other states took against Facebook last week, as well as a Texas-led lawsuit against Google that was filed by 10 states Wednesday over anti-competitive practices in online advertising.
Both of the lawsuits from the states come after a landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google filed by the Department of Justice in October.
The Department of Justice, which announced last year that it was investigating big tech companies, also accused Google of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising, and the states have asked that Thursday’s lawsuit be consolidated with the Department of Justice’s earlier case.
The states’ lawsuit asks the court to stop Google’s anti-competitive practices and undo any advantages Google gained from that conduct, according to the statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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