This is the second lawsuit the United States Department of Justice has launched against the computer giant Google in the last three years. The lawsuit targets Google’s monopoly in digital advertising and the strategies it utilises to retain its position at the top.
After obtaining a copy of the lawsuit, we can see that it alleges Google engaged in “anticompetitive, discriminatory, and illegal measures” to eliminate its rivals and corner the digital advertising industry.
The lawsuit states that Google’s actions “neutralise” other businesses and push marketers to choose Google’s product. Nearly $55 billion ($69.0 billion) of Google’s total $69 billion income in Q3 2022 came from advertisements.
“Whenever Google’s customers and competitors responded with innovation that threatened Google’s stranglehold over any one of these ad tech tools, Google’s anticompetitive response has been swift and effective,” the complaint reads. “Each time a threat has emerged, Google has used its market power in one or more of these ad tech tools to quash the threat. The result: Google’s plan for durable, industry-wide dominance has succeeded.”
Over the summer, reports suggested that the Department of Justice would reject Google’s request to divide its ad tech division into a new corporation under Alphabet in an effort to satisfy regulator concerns, increasing the likelihood that the DOJ would file action against the company. According to the recently filed complaint, Google must sell over its entire advertising business, including the Ad Manager product suite. In July, Google confirmed that it has no intention of leaving the market.
A Google spokesperson responded to the latest case by telling Android Central that the Justice Department’s premise is incorrect.
“The Department of Justice has filed action in an effort to determine who will succeed and who will fail in the increasingly competitive advertising technology market. It’s basically a carbon copy of a frivolous case (opens in new tab) filed by the Texas attorney general, which was just dismissed (opens in new tab) by a federal judge. DOJ is continuing to push an unconvincing case that will hinder the expansion of thousands of small companies and publications by stifling innovation and increasing the cost of advertising.”
In 2020, the Trump administration launched its first lawsuit against Google, claiming that the company abuses its market power via “exclusionary and interlocking commercial arrangements.” The proceedings in this case are ongoing.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has joined eight other states in a new lawsuit: California, Colorado, Virginia, Tennessee, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York.
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