Justice Department sues Google over its dominance in advertising technology


The U.S. Justice Department filed its second antitrust lawsuit against Google in just over two years.  The Justice Department, along with the attorneys general of multiple states, filed an antitrust suit Tuesday against Google “for monopolizing multiple digital advertising technology products.” The Department’s earlier lawsuit, filed in October 2020 under the Trump administration, accused Google of using its alleged monopoly power to cut off competition for internet search through exclusionary agreements. That case is expected to go to trial in September.

The second lawsuit, filed in the District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. is focused on Google’s online advertising business, and seeks to make Google divest parts of the business. The Department of Justice said in a news release Tuesday: “As a result of its illegal monopoly, and by its own estimates, Google pockets on average more than 30% of the advertising dollars that flow through its digital advertising technology products … Google’s anticompetitive conduct has suppressed alternative technologies, hindering their adoption by publishers, advertisers, and rivals.”  The DOJ emphasized that the search advertising market addressed in the 2020 suit is different from the digital advertising technology market addressed in Tuesday’s lawsuit.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Google has been “wielding its dominance across digital advertising markets to force more publishers and advertisers to use its products; and thwarting the ability to use competing products … Today’s complaint alleges that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies.” 

Editorial credit: achinthamb / Shutterstock.com

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