The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and eight states have sued Google over its alleged anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful monopolisation of the digital advertising.
They are also calling for the divestment of the search giant’s ad technology business and the restoration of competition to digital advertising.
Monopoly is not illegal in the United States, but leveraging market dominance to squash competitors is illegal.
According to the DOJ, Google has been neutralising ad tech competitors through a series of acquisitions and using its dominance across the digital ad markets to force more publishers and advertisers to use its products while disrupting their ability to use competing products effectively. Apparently, this pattern of behaviour can be traced back to when Google purchased online advertising company, DoubleClick.
On the other hand, Google has repeatedly said that the digital ad business is robust and competitive, highlighting major competitors such as Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft.
In a statement, Google wrote that the “DOJ is doubling down on a flawed argument that would slow innovation, raise advertising fees, and make it harder for thousands of small businesses and publishers to grow”.
The DOJ, which was reportedly contemplating this lawsuit for years, doesn’t agree and states why with chronological evidence in this 153-page document.