Google sued by US Department of Justice for second time over ad dominance2023-01-24 14:35 by Daniela
The US Department of Justice and eight states on Tuesday sued Google over its ads business alleging it engages in monopolistic behavior.
The complaint, filed in federal court in Virginia, alleges that Google has "corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry" through a campaign of seizing control of tools and inserting "itself into all aspects of the digital advertising marketplace." Google allegedly has done so by eliminating competition through acquisitions and used its dominance to push advertisers to use its products over those of others.
"Google's anticompetitive behavior has raised barriers to entry to artificially high levels, forced key competitors to abandon the market for ad tech tools, dissuaded potential competitors from joining the market, and left Google's few remaining competitors marginalized and unfairly disadvantaged," the lawsuit reads.
Google knew this was coming. Last year, the company attempted to avoid a potential lawsuit from the DOJ by offering to separate its ad auctions business, which sells and puts ads on customers' websites, from Google's digital advertising arm. But instead of making it a separate company altogether, the move would've put the division under the umbrella of Google's parent company, Alphabet.
This is the fifth antitrust lawsuit filed by U.S. officials against Google since 2020, as lawmakers and regulators around the world try to rein in the power that big tech companies exert over information and commerce online. In Europe, Amazon, Google, Apple and others have faced antitrust investigations and charges, while regulators have passed new laws to limit social media's harms and some practices such as data collection.
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