Technology

Justice Department sues Google for antitrust violations

The Justice Department and eight states filed suit against Alphabet’s search engine Google for allegedly monopolizing the digital advertising market.

“Google abuses its monopoly power to disadvantage website publishers and advertisers who dare to use competing ad tech products in a search for higher quality, or lower cost, matches,” the Justice Department alleged in its filing in Virginia federal court.

New York, California, Virginia and Colorado were among the states that signed onto the lawsuit, which seeks to break up Google’s massive advertising business.

The lawsuit says “Google has thwarted meaningful competition and deterred innovation in the digital advertising industry, taken supra-competitive profits for itself, prevented the free market from functioning fairly to support the interests of the advertisers and publishers who make today’s powerful internet possible.”

The Post has sought comment from Google.

Google’s advertising business is responsible for around 80% of its revenue. This year alone, Google anticipates generating $73.8 billion in digital ad revenue.

Google shares were down 1.3% after the lawsuit was filed.

The suit is the first time that the Biden administration will take on a tech behemoth.

The Justice Department under then-President Donald Trump filed suit against Google for allegedly using exclusivity deals with wireless carriers and phone manufacturers to lock competitors out of its search engine. The case is scheduled to go to trial in September.

Google’s competitors have long accused the search giant of displaying a lack of transparency in how it divvies up its ad dollars.

This is the second time that the Justice Department has filed suit against Google. Attorney General Merrick Garland is pictured.
AP

The tech giant has long claimed that the digital ad market was competitive, citing rivals such as Facebook, AT&T, Comcast, and others.

While Google remains the market leader by a long shot, its share of the US digital ad revenue has been eroding, falling from 36.7% in 2016 to 28.8% last year, according to Insider Intelligence.

The company has also been hauled into court on three separate occasions by three state attorneys general.

Last year, Texas, Indiana, Washington State, and the District of Columbia sued Google over what they alleged was deceptive location-tracking practices that invade users’ privacy.

Dozens of other states signed on to the lawsuit. Google eventually agreed to settle with 40 states by paying out $391.5 million.

With Post Wires

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