Google Accidentally Reveals Sealed Allegations In Texas-Led Antitrust Suit

When Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton brought a multi-state antitrust lawsuit against Google last December for allegedly rigging online ad auctions, the publicly available complaint contained large swaths of blacked-out text.

Last week, when Google officially answered the complaint, the company improperly formatted its answer in a way that revealed allegations that had previously been hidden from view.

When Google realized its formatting error, the company replaced its initial answer with a redacted version. That version contends in broad terms that Paxton and the other attorneys general misunderstand online advertising.

But the initial version of Google's answer, which was seen by The Wall Street Journal, offers new details about Paxton's lawsuit.

Significantly, Paxton alleged that Google operated a program named “Project Bernanke,” which drew on historical data in its ad exchange to give its ad platform an advantage, according to a report Saturday in The Wall Street Journal.

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Google reportedly said “the details of Project Bernanke’s operations are not disclosed to publishers,” in a portion of its answer that was supposed to be redacted.

The company also said the information it drew on was “comparable to data maintained by other buying tools.”

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