Google accused of anti-competitive practices in antitrust lawsuit.
The United States Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the internet giant has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by manipulating three major elements of the ad tech market. The suit claims that Google has engaged in “anticompetitive, exclusionary and unlawful” practices that have allowed it to weaken or destroy competition in the ad tech industry.
The suit alleges that Google controls the technology used by publishers to offer advertising space for sale, the leading tool used by advertisers to buy that ad space, and the largest ad exchange that matches advertisers and publishers together. As a result, website creators earn less and advertisers pay more, making it harder for publishers to offer content without subscriptions or paywalls.
The suit extensively quotes Google executives and employees to make the case that Google acted unfairly and unlawfully. Google has responded to the allegations, stating that the lawsuit “attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector” and would slow innovation, raise advertising fees, and make it harder for small businesses and publishers to grow.
The DOJ is seeking damages for Google’s allegedly anticompetitive practices, as well as the divestiture of certain ad tech products. Additionally, the department is seeking an injunction preventing Google from continuing to engage in the anti-competitive practices described in the complaint.
The outcome of the lawsuit will have major implications for the future of the ad tech industry, as well as the broader tech industry. It is yet to be seen how the court will rule on the case, but the decision could have far-reaching implications for the future of the digital ad market.