This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 01/10/2022 at 08:32:42 (UTC).

Neighbor Newspapers, Inc. v. Google, LLC et al

Case Summary

On November 11, 2021, Neighbor Newspapers, Inc. (“Plaintiff”), represented by David W. Mitchell of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, John C. Herman and Serina M. Vash of Herman Jones LLP, Michael E. Sumner of Sumner Meeker, LLC, Paul T. Farrell of Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel, LLP, Steven A. Martino of Taylor Martino & Hedge, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google LLC (“Google”) and Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief with damages, pre-judgment, and post-judgment interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees, for allegedly monopolizing the digital advertising market by strangling a primary source of revenue for newspapers across the country. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Georgia with Judge Michael L. Brown presiding. 

 

In the complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that “Plaintiff, 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 Plaintiff’s, 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.”

 

The Plaintiff lists out three claims for relief. The first claim is for Google’s alleged monopolization of the Digital Advertising Market in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The second claim is for the Defendants’ alleged conspiracy in restraint of trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The third claim is for alleged unjust enrichment. The Plaintiff also claimed that there is a direct causal connection between these antitrust violations and the harm to competition on the merits and to Plaintiff. The loss of revenue streams can be directly tied to the antitrust conduct of Defendants. Plaintiff is a direct victim of the alleged antitrust injury as a competitor in the digital advertising market

 

In the prayer for relief, the Plaintiff requested the Court to declare that Defendants’ actions, violate the law and award Plaintiff damages, treble damages, punitive damages, and/or restitution in an amount to be determined at trial with pre-and post-judgment interest and also 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. The Plaintiff further requested for an award of its costs of suit and any and all such other relief as the Court may deem proper. 

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-04675

  • Filing Date:

    11/11/2021

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Other Disposed

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Michael L. Brown

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Neighbor Newspapers, Inc.

Defendants

Google, LLC

Facebook, Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Michael E. Sumner

Attorney at Sumner Meeker, LLC

14 East Broad Street

Newnan, GA 30263

John C. Herman

Attorney at Herman Jones LLP

3424 Peachtree Road Nesuite 1650

Atlanta, GA 30326

David W. Mitchell

Attorney at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, LLP - SD

655 W. Broadwaysuite 1900

San Diego, CA 92101

Paul T. Farrell

Attorney at Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel, LLP

P.O. Box 2389419 - 11Th Street

Huntington, WV 25724-2389

Serina M. Vash

Attorney at Herman Jones LLP

P.O. Box 131153 Central Avenue

Westfiled, NJ 07090

Steven A. Martino

Attorney at Taylor Martino & Hedge

61 St. Joseph Street1600 Southtrust Bank Building

Mobile, AL 36602

 

Court Documents

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT with Jury Demand filed by Neighbor Newspapers, Inc.. (Filing fee $402.00, receipt number AGANDC-11390495) (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(eop) Please visit our website at http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/commonly-used-forms to obtain Pretrial Instructions and Pretrial Associated Forms which includes the Consent To Proceed Before U.S. Magistrate form. (Entered: 11/12/2021)

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#2

(#2) Electronic Summons Issued as to Google, LLC. (eop) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

#3

(#3) Electronic Summons Issued as to Facebook, Inc.. (eop) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

#4

(#4) STANDING ORDER regarding Civil Litigation. Signed by Judge Michael L. Brown on 8/26/2021. (jpk) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

#5

(#5) CONDITIONAL TRANSFER ORDER CTO-4 from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferring Case to USDC, Southern District of New York. (jpa) (Entered: 12/01/2021)

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/01/2021
  • DocketNew Civil Action Number in USDC SDNY 1:21-cv-10188 (aar) (Entered: 12/01/2021)

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  • 12/01/2021
  • DocketCase Electronically transferred to USDC, Southern District of New York for inclusion in MDL No. 3010. (jpa) (Entered: 12/01/2021)

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  • 11/30/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Terminated. (jpa) (Entered: 12/01/2021)

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  • 11/30/2021
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  • Docket(#5) CONDITIONAL TRANSFER ORDER CTO-4 from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferring Case to USDC, Southern District of New York. (jpa) (Entered: 12/01/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/12/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#4) STANDING ORDER regarding Civil Litigation. Signed by Judge Michael L. Brown on 8/26/2021. (jpk) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 11/12/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#3) Electronic Summons Issued as to Facebook, Inc.. (eop) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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  • 11/12/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) Electronic Summons Issued as to Google, LLC. (eop) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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  • 11/11/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT with Jury Demand filed by Neighbor Newspapers, Inc.. (Filing fee $402.00, receipt number AGANDC-11390495) (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(eop) Please visit our website at http://www.gand.uscourts.gov/commonly-used-forms to obtain Pretrial Instructions and Pretrial Associated Forms which includes the Consent To Proceed Before U.S. Magistrate form. (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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