Coastal Point joins newspapers filing suits accusing Google and Facebook of monopolistic tactics

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A southern Delaware newspaper/website has filed suit against Google and Facebook, accusing both of monopolistic activities in the digital advertising market.

Coastal Point joined newspapers around the nation in filing lawsuits filed federal courts.

Industry journal Editor & Publisher reported that 125 newspapers in 11 states filed the suits in federal courts. Suits were filed by chains as well as companies that own one newspaper.

The suit filed by Coastal Point was filed in U.S. Federal Court in Delaware, the state where both Facebook and Google are incorporated.

Coastal Point covers the Bethany Beach area of Delaware south of Rehoboth as well as adjacent areas.

The suit makes numerous allegations of monopolistic practices by the two Northern California-based companies including the following:

“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 suit goes on to outline the sharp decline in revenues at newspapers and accompanying declines in the size of newsrooms.

“As a result of falling revenues, newspapers are steadily losing the ability to financially support their newsrooms, which are costly to maintain but provide immense value to their communities. A robust local newsroom requires the financial freedom to support in-depth, sometimes years-long reporting, as well as the ability to hire and retain journalists with expertise in fundamentally local issues, such as coverage of state government.,” the suit stated.

Newspapers have been unable to capitalize on the digital advertising market and have seen employment drop by half in the past several years, according to the suit.

The Delaware suit seeks a jury trial.

Both Google and Facebook were sent Emails seeking comment.

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