Report: DOJ Prepares Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google over Ad-Tech
According to a recent report, the DOJ is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against internet giant Google over the company’s advertising technology business.
Bloomberg reports that according to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Justice Department has advanced its investigation of Google’s digital advertising business and could file a lawsuit by the end of 2021. Sources claim that the DOJ is confident in its claims that Google is abusing its dominance in the advertising sector, but no final decisions have been made yet.
Scrutiny of Google’s advertising business by the DOJ began under the Trump administration when then-Attorney General William Barr sued Google over its search business instead. Barr claimed at the time that Google used its exclusive distribution deals with wireless carriers to block other phone makers out of the market.
Attorney General William Barr speaks during a news conference, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 at the Justice Department in Washington. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)
Google boss Sundar Pichai is masked up
Following Barr’s complaint, a separate antitrust complaint was filed by a group of state attorneys general led by Texas that alleged that Google was illegally monopolizing the online advertising market. The complaint alleged that Google and Facebook collaborated to manipulate online auctions where advertisers buy and sell ad space. According to sources, the agreement reached by Google and Facebook is part of the DOJ’s current antitrust investigation.
Texas AG Ken Paxton
Google has denied that it has a monopoly on the ad tech market, stating that the space is filled with other major companies providing more than enough competition. Google pointed to Amazon, Comcast, and Facebook as examples of this and denies claims that it has partnered with Facebook to manipulate auctions.
Goole said in a statement: “Our advertising technologies help websites and apps fund their content, enable small businesses to grow, and protect users from exploitative privacy practices and bad ad experiences. There is enormous competition in advertising tools, which has made online ads more relevant, reduced fees, and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”
Read more at Bloomberg here.