US Department of Justice Sues Google for Monopoly in Online Advertising Market

In a historic move, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the tech giant of monopolizing the online advertising market.

by Faruk Imamovic
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US Department of Justice Sues Google for Monopoly in Online Advertising Market

In a historic move, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the tech giant of monopolizing the online advertising market. The lawsuit, which is being supported by eight states, including California and New York, demands that Google be convicted of violating competition laws, ordered to pay damages, and prohibited from continuing its monopolization activities.

Monopoly in the Ad Tech Industry

The lawsuit, which was made public on Tuesday, alleges that Google has "corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide swath of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers, and brokers to facilitate digital advertising." The document goes on to state that Google has used its market power to "quash the threat" of any potential competitors, resulting in the company's "plan for durable, industry-wide dominance" succeeding.

The DOJ and the eight states are asking judicial authorities to impose penalties on Google for violating competition laws and to stop the company's monopolization activities in the online advertising market. This marks the first time in over two decades that the DOJ has taken legal action against a technology company for monopolization.

Previous Antitrust Action

This is not the first time that Google has faced legal action over antitrust concerns. In 2017, the European Union fined Google €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) for violating competition laws. The company was accused of promoting its own comparison shopping service in search results, harming other comparison shopping services.

"By suing Google for monopolizing advertising technology, the DOJ today aims at the heart of the internet giant’s power," said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director at Public Knowledge. "The complaint lays out the many anti-competitive strategies from Google that have held our internet ecosystem back." Google is also currently facing lawsuits in the US that were launched at the end of 2020 by a group of states led by Texas. The lawsuits also relate to the company's alleged advertising monopoly.

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