VIRGINIA (CelebrityAccess) – The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against Google (owned by Alphabet) for allegedly monopolizing digital advertising technologies.
According to a DOJ release, the civil antitrust suit was filed Tuesday (January 24) in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Google – alongside the Attorney Generals (AG) of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Google is being accused of subverting competition in internet advertising tech through anticompetitive auction manipulation and serial acquisitions.
“Over the past 15 years, Google has engaged in a course of anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct that consisted of neutralizing or eliminating ad tech competitors through acquisitions,” the DOJ claims.
The DOJ says that Google now controls the digital tool that nearly every major website publisher uses to sell ads on their websites and controls the dominant advertiser tool that large and small advertisers use to buy ad inventory. It also controls the largest advertising exchange, a technology that runs real-time auctions to match buyers and sellers of online advertising.
The lawsuit alleges that on average, Google pockets more than 30% of the advertising income that flows through its digital ad technology products. That lawsuit is scheduled for trial in September 2023.
The latest litigation, which also targets Google’s advertising dominance, centers on digital ad technologies, collectively referred to as the “ad tech stack,” that website publishers depend on to sell ads. Advertisers also rely on ad tech stack to buy ads and reach potential customers.
“The complaint filed today alleges a pervasive and systemic pattern of misconduct through which Google sought to consolidate market power and stave off free-market competition,” says Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, said: “The Department’s landmark action against Google underscores our commitment to fighting the abuse of market power. We allege that Google has captured publishers’ revenue for its own profits and punished publishers who sought out alternatives. Those actions have weakened the free and open internet and increased advertising costs for businesses and the United States government, including for our military.”
Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, added: “Today’s lawsuit seeks to hold Google to account for its longstanding monopolies in digital advertising technologies that content creators use to sell ads and advertisers use to buy ads on the open internet.”
The latest legal action comes as Google parent Alphabet became one of the latest US-based tech giants to carry out job cuts amid the global economic slowdown. Amazon recently cut 18,000 and Microsoft cut 10,000 in the tech sector.