WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The owner of the online newspaper MailOnline, which is known in the United States as the “Daily Mail,” filed a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, alleging that the search and advertising giant’s power over selling online ad space means that newspapers see little of the revenue that their content produces.
The lawsuit alleges that Google controls the tools used to sell ad inventory as well as the space on publishers’ pages where ads can be placed and the exchange that decides where ads will be placed.
“The lack of competition for publishers’ inventory depresses prices and reduces the amount and quality of news available to readers, but Google ends up ahead because it controls a growing share of the ad space that remains,” the lawsuit said.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google faces similar allegations in a lawsuit filed by Texas and a group of other states in December. That lawsuit is one of a series filed against Google and Facebook late last year.
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers led by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative David Cicilline introduced legislation in March aimed at making it easier for news organizations to negotiate collectively with platforms like Google and Facebook in hopes of boosting revenues.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Associated Newspapers Ltd and Mail Media Inc, which publish MailOnline.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)