On April 19, 2021, Brown County Publishing Company, Inc. and Multi Media Channels, LLC (“Multi media” or “Plaintiffs”), represented by Erin K. Dickinson of Crueger Dickinson LLC, filed an antitrust action against Google, LLC and Facebook, Inc. (“Defendants”), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and an accounting of damages along with treble damages for allegedly monopolizing and conspiring to engage in anticompetitive conduct and unjust enrichment by the Defendants. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin with Judge William C. Griesbach presiding.
In its complaint, the Plaintiffs alleged that “Plaintiffs, and other newspapers across the country, compete for revenue in the digital advertising market. Google monopolizes the market to such an extent that it threatens the extinction of local newspapers across the country. There is no longer a competitive market in which newspapers can fairly compete for online advertising revenue. Google has vertically integrated itself, through hundreds of mergers and acquisitions, to enable dominion over all sellers, buyers, and middlemen in the marketplace. It has absorbed the market internally and consumed most of the revenue. Google’s unlawful anticompetitive conduct is directly stripping newspapers across the country, including Plaintiffs, of their primary revenue source.”
The Plaintiff further alleged that “Google and Facebook, archrivals in the digital advertising market, conspired to further their worldwide dominance of the digital advertising market in a secret agreement codenamed “Jedi Blue.” The two archrivals, who are sometimes referenced as operating a duopoly in the market, unlawfully conspired to manipulate online auctions which generate digital advertising revenue. Facebook and Google agreed to avoid competing with another in September 2018. The quid pro quo was as follows—Facebook would largely forego its foray into header bidding and would instead bid through Google’s ad server. In exchange, Google agreed to give Facebook preferential treatment in its auctions. This agreement closed a growing threat to Google’s primacy and further cemented its stranglehold on the marketplace. These actions are illegal and directly caused newspapers across the country, including Plaintiffs, enormous financial harm in the form of loss of revenue sources.”
There are three claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first claim is for Google’s Monopolization of the Digital Advertising Market, hence, for alleged violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act: 15 U.S.C. § 2. The second claim is for Google and Facebook’s unlawful agreement to unreasonably restrain the trade, hence, for alleged violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act: 15 U.S.C. § 1. The third claim is for alleged Unjust Enrichment.
In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the court to declare that the Defendants’ actions violate the law, and to award damages, treble damages, punitive damages, and/or restitution in an amount to be determined at trial. The Plaintiffs further requested the Court to permanently enjoin Defendants from continuing, maintaining, or renewing the conduct alleged herein, and from adopting or following any practice, plan, program, or device having a similar purpose or effect, and award Plaintiffs pre- and post-judgment interest and their costs of suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses.
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Pending - Other Pending
U.S. District Courts
Wisconsin Eastern District
Brown County Publishing Company, Inc.
Multi Media Channels, LLC
Erin K Dickinson
Attorney at Crueger Dickinson LLC
4532 N Oakland Ave
Whitefish Bay, WI 53211
Summons Google LLC
Summons Facebook Inc
Civil Cover Sheet
(#1) COMPLAINT with Jury Demand; against All Defendants by Brown County Publishing Company, Inc., Multi Media Channels, LLC. ( Filing Fee PAID $402 receipt number AWIEDC-3796080) (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Summons Facebook Inc, #3 Summons Google LLC)(Dickinson, Erin)
Docket(#1) COMPLAINT with Jury Demand; against All Defendants by Brown County Publishing Company, Inc., Multi Media Channels, LLC. ( Filing Fee PAID $402 receipt number AWIEDC-3796080) (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Summons Facebook Inc, #3 Summons Google LLC)(Dickinson, Erin)Read MoreRead Less
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