Private lawsuits follow state ones for one simple reason: regulators have a distinct advantage when it comes to obtaining evidence. Federal and state investigators can collect internal documents and interview executives before filing a lawsuit. As a result, their complaints are filled with inside knowledge of the companies. Individuals cannot seek this type of evidence until they have filed lawsuits.

If the government cases against Google or Facebook are successful in the process, the win will likely strengthen the case for private lawsuits, experts said. Lawyers could point these victories as evidence the company broke the law and quickly move on to their main goal: obtaining monetary damages.

The people bringing the cases against the tech giants include publishers, advertisers and users.

Sweepstakes Today, the website operated by Mr. McDaniel brings together prize competitions from across the country. The proceeds will come from advertising that is partially being sold by Google, according to Mr McDaniel’s lawsuit seeking class action status.

The website had annual sales of around $ 150,000 for years and made a profit, according to the complaint. But revenue has been down since 2012, a drop due to Google’s dominance in online advertising.

Mr. McDaniel, who describes some of his public messages as “Mr. Sweepy, ”he said on a GoFundMe page he set up to cover the cost of running the site, that his income“ fell like a rock ”and that he could go out of business. He said Google also hurt his revenue by listing his website as an online gambling venue, which resulted in lower quality ads.

“With Google literally taking over the Internet, it is nearly impossible for companies to do business in this space without using a Google service, which makes them subject to Google’s arbitrary rules and guidelines,” said John Herman, attorney at Mr. McDaniel, in a statement.

Other publishers that have recently filed antitrust complaints against Google include the Lyrics website Genius, which sued Google in 2019, citing the use of Genius Lyrics data in search results to dismiss the case, and the progressive magazine The Nation. Both are among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by Boies Schiller Flexner law firm seeking class action status. Another well-known law firm, Berger Montague, has also filed a complaint against Google on behalf of the publishers.