The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing another antitrust lawsuit against Google. According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit may be filed as early as next month. This would be the DOJ’s second major case against the tech giant. The first one came in October 2020.
The Justice Department is targeting Google’s advertising business
Google‘s online advertising business is once again the subject of the case. The Justice Department, and pretty much all of the company’s rivals, allege that Google abuses its market power to illegally dominate the digital advertising market. The search giant provides tools and platforms for publishers to display ads on websites. While there are many competing companies in this space, none has been able to challenge Google.
Digital ad spending in the US reportedly topped $211 billion last year. Google was the biggest player in the market with a share of 28.6 percent. The DOJ believes that the company leverages its other services such as Search and Chrome to give itself an unfair advantage over competitors. The Department has been investigating this for years and is now ready with another case. The previous lawsuit also targeted the tech biggie’s dominance in internet search and advertising.
According to the new report, the DOJ is conducting another round of interviews with publishers to gather more information before it proceeds with the case. The Department had questioned publishers regarding this matter in the past as well. The latest interrogations could take a few more weeks to complete. Once ready, the lawsuit could be filed in federal court either in Washington or New York.
It’s worth mentioning here that the DOJ’s previous case against Google is pending in Washington, while several state attorneys general (AGs) have their own joint antitrust lawsuit against targeting the company’s company advertising business in New York. The search giant has denied the states’ allegations and requested the court to dismiss the case. A hearing on it is reportedly scheduled for this month.
Google denies any wrongdoing
As expected, Google has denied any wrongdoing and contends that its advertising business is built on fair practices. “Our advertising technologies help websites and apps fund their content, and enable small businesses to reach customers around the world,” the company said in an official statement. “The enormous competition in online advertising has made online ads more relevant, reduced ad tech fees, and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”
However, legal troubles for Google are mounting not just in the US but in other regions too. The UK and European watchdogs are also investigating its deal with Meta alleging that the two companies manipulated online ad auctions. Time will tell what comes out of these lawsuits. Stay tuned for more information on the DOJ’s upcoming antitrust lawsuit against Google.