Surprising Takes from the Google Anti-Trust Lawsuit

I took the time to read all 160+ pages of the Google antitrust suit filed by 17 states last month. It’s an amazing amount of detail and insight into what looks like anticompetitive behavior. You can read the full thing here, but a couple quick observations that I gleaned:

  • Google and Facebook colluded to kill threats (header bidding) to Googles competition in the ad market and give Facebooks ad network (FAN) an unfair advantage in ad buying in exchange and formally agreed to cover up each others respective anti-completive behaviors.
  • Google and Facebook have coordinated efforts to share their own data about individuals in attempts to circumvent the privacy technology Apple has been implementing in Safari and iOS.
  • Chrome is nothing more than a user tracking tool so Google can gain more data on you in order to sell more ads.
  • AMP exists solely to kill off header based ad bidding and insert Google into the ad stream while purposely slowing non-AMP ads by one second to make the experience worse for the end user.
  • You can’t get access to the Youtube advertising sphere unless you use Google’s ad buying tools.

As anti-trust lawsuits go, this one will stretch out for years of course but in my experience brings a lot of memories back from the Microsoft antitrust suit in the early 2000’s. Outside of the legal ramifications that Google may or may not face, this lawsuit is really confirming some troubling behaviors that many have suspected from Google over the years.