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Facebook And Google Face Mass Lawsuits From US Media

More than 200 newspapers through around 30 companies have filed lawsuits against Facebook and Google, claiming they’re destroying their advertising revenue and crippling their business.

The papers spread across the US, including local publications from Texas to Mississippi to Ohio. They are claiming the online giants have unfairly manipulated the market and siphoned away their revenue.

All the suits were recently consolidated in New York State, where the Justice Department and several state attorneys sued Google for violating antitrust laws, while Facebook are facing a similar suit from state attorneys and the Federal Trade Commission.

Texas attorney General Ken Paxton filed an antitrust suit against both companies last year, alleging collusion between them to get rid of competition in the digital ad space.

The local newspapers in the new suit are making similar claims, while looking to “recover past damages to newspapers”.

If the papers come out ahead, the settlement could be up to three times the actual damages, which have not yet been divulged.

They are seeking to establish a new system where newspapers aren’t just competitive but can thrive, referencing the recent changes to media laws in Australia where tech firms pay publishers for content.

To put this in perspective, last year, Google made $183 billion. According to their 2020 annual report, more than 80 per cent of that came from its advertising business.

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