Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Tuesday that the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., setting its sights on the company’s stranglehold on the digital advertising market, particularly the technology underlying digital advertising.
“We allege that Google has used anti-competitive, exclusionary and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” said Garland in the announcement.
Garland accused the tech giant of anti-competitive purchases in digital advertising technology, The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, asks the federal trial court to order Google to sell off parts of its advertising businesses.
“One industry behemoth, Google, has corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide swath of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers, and brokers, to facilitate digital advertising,” The government has filed a complaint.
Stay in the conversation on politics:Sign up for the On Politics newsletter
What is DOJ targeting in its lawsuit against Google?
The government’s complaint outlines three different advertising technologies and alleges Google has tied the technologies together to maintain its dominance in the digital ad market.
- Publisher ad server: the tool that allows major website publishers to sell ads on their websites.
- Advertiser ad network: the tool that allows advertisers to purchase space.
- Ad exchange: Technology that pairs buyers and sellers of advertising together.
Another step in antitrust efforts
Eight states – Virginia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee – joined the department’s lawsuit.
The case is another major step in Washington’s antitrust efforts against Big Tech. The Justice Department has another antitrust lawsuit already pending against Google, filed in 2020 during the Trump administration, focusing on the company’s dominance in the search engine market.
The company is involved with other major lawsuits filed by state attorneys general, including a lawsuit led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, alleging the company has also monopolized advertising services.
►The DOJ’s first lawsuit explained:This is what it means for you
►California sues Amazon:California suit alleges Amazon ‘stifled competition’ in breaking antitrust laws