TradeComet.com LLC, a New York-based company, claimed in federal court on Tuesday that Google Inc. violated antitrust laws by raising a subsidiary’s advertising rates after deciding the subsidiary was a competitor.
In its suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, TradeComet.com claims that Google initially supported SourceTool.com, TradeComet’s subsidiary. SourceTool.com is a business-to-business search engine that connects suppliers of industrial products to buyers. Google eventually deemed SourceTool.com a competitor, and according to TradeComet.com, raised its search advertising rates by 10,000 percent “with no notice.”
A Google spokesman said in a statement that, “We have not yet had a chance to review the complaint in detail, but, as we have consistently made clear, the advertising market in which Google operates is highly competitive, and advertisers have a huge range of choices.”
TradeComet.com is represented by the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Rick Rule, of Cadwalader said in a press release that “We believe this complaint has strong merit and represents a serious antitrust violation.”