For years, it seemed, Google lived up to its old motto, “Don’t be evil.” It also seemed to do no wrong in terms of product superiority.
Google built its reputation as an ethical company that out-performed competitors. But is that reputation still deserved?
One thing is true: It’s been a bad year for Google’s reputation.
Does Google engage in unethical business practices?
An antitrust lawsuit brought by a coalition of US states in 2020 and published in un-redacted form last week alleges that Google suppressed competition by manipulating advertising auctions.
Google used what are called “second price” auctions, where the highest bidder wins the auction, but pays the publisher an amount equal to the second-highest bid. If one company bids $10 per click, another bids $8 and another $6. The $10 bidder wins — but pays $8 per click to the publisher.