President Joe Biden’s administration has accused the Big Tech giant of abusing its dominance over the online advertising industry
Google used “anti-competitive, exclusive” practices to unlawfully crush or diminish any major threat to its dominance over the online advertising industry, President Joe Biden’s administration has alleged in a lawsuit against the company.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its antitrust lawsuit against Google in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday, calling for the company to be forced to sell off some of its advertising business. Advertising accounts for around 80% of the Big Tech giant’s revenue.
Google has dominant services that allow customers to offer ad space, create better ads, and connect publishers with advertisers. The company leveraged its size and reach to buy out or disrupt “actual or potential” competitors and leave advertisers and websites no choice but to use its services, according to the lawsuit.
“Google has thwarted meaningful competition and deterred innovation in the digital advertising industry, appropriated supra-competitive profits, and prevented the free market from operating fairly to support the interests of advertisers and publishers who enable the powerful Internet of today”, said the DOJ.
Google argued that the government was trying to pick winners and losers in the “very competitive” online advertising company. The DOJ’s flawed arguments largely replicate those in a lawsuit in Texas that was recently dismissed in federal court, the company said in a statement.
Eight states, including Google’s home state of California, joined the federal government in Tuesday’s lawsuit. “We are taking action by filing this lawsuit to dismantle Google’s monopoly and restore competition to the digital advertising industry,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.
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The administration of Biden’s predecessor, then President Donald Trump, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in 2020, alleging anticompetitive practices in the company’s mainstream online search business. That case is expected to go to trial later this year.