US sues Google over its alleged monopoly on digital advertizing

Business World

The United States Justice Department along with eight states has filed a case against Google for “monopolizing” multiple digital advertising technology products.

“Today, the Justice Department, along with the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia, filed a civil antitrust suit against Google for monopolizing multiple digital advertising technology products in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act,” the US Justice Department said in an official statement.

The antitrust suit has been filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, it said.

The US government alleged in the complaint that Google monopolizes key digital advertising technologies, collectively called the “ad tech stack,” that website publishers rely on to sell ads and that advertisers depend on to buy ads and reach potential customers.

According to the statement, the US Justice Department seeks to restore competition in important markets and obtain equitable and monetary relief on behalf of Americans.

It further added, “Website publishers use ad tech tools to generate advertising revenue that supports the creation and maintenance of a vibrant open web, providing the public with unprecedented access to ideas, artistic expression, information, goods, and services. Through this monopolization lawsuit, the Justice Department and state Attorneys General seek to restore competition in these important markets and obtain equitable and monetary relief on behalf of the American public.” Attorney General Merrick B Garland said that Google has used “anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct” to remove any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technology.

“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,” said Attorney General Garland.

“No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws to protect consumers, safeguard competition, and ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all,” he added.

According to the statement, Google controls the digital tool that around every major website publisher uses to sell ads on their websites, it controls the dominant advertiser tool that helps advertisers to buy ad inventory.

“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; for some transactions and for certain publishers and advertisers, it takes far more. Google’s anticompetitive conduct has suppressed alternative technologies, hindering their adoption by publishers, advertisers, and rivals,” it further said.