The United States Department of Justice and eight other U.S. states are suing Google on charges of the company’s monopoly on the digital advertising market. According to the agency, the company is abusing its power, leaving no room for other advertising tools.
The lawsuit points out that Google has made several acquisitions that have helped eliminate or neutralize its online advertising competitors. The company has already made billions in the area: in the quarter that ended in September 2022, Google had generated about US$54.5 billion.
“Google’s anticompetitive behavior has raised entry barriers to artificially high levels, forced key competitors to abandon the ad technology tools market, dissuaded potential competitors from entering the market, and left Google’s remaining few competitors marginalized and unfairly at a disadvantage,” it was disclosed in the official lawsuit.
“First, Google controls the technology used by nearly every major website publisher to offer advertising space for sale. Second, Google controls the leading tool used by advertisers to buy that advertising space. And third, Google controls the largest ad exchange that matches publishers and advertisers together each time that ad space is sold,” said Garland (Attorney General).
As a result of this, he added, “website creators earn less and advertisers pay more.” And this means fewer publishers can offer their content without subscriptions, paywalls and other fees to make up for revenue.
The justice department asked the court to compel Google to divest its Google Ad manager suite, including its ad exchange AdX.
The department’s suit accuses Google of unlawfully monopolizing the way ads are served online by excluding competitors. This includes its 2008 acquisition of DoubleClick, a dominant ad server, and subsequent rollout of technology that locks in the split-second bidding process for ads that get served on Web pages.
Google in bad sheets
Last year, knowing it would be sued for antitrust behavior in its advertising division, Google tried to convince the government that it would separate the ad area from the company’s advertising industry. However, the division would continue to be managed by Alphabet.
By 2020, the company had already been sued by the U.S. Department of Justice, however, because of its anticompetitive behavior in the search engine industry. In this case, they claim that the fault of the antitrust effect is mainly on account of the Android operating system, since it is available on most smartphones around the world.
In 2022, several U.S. politicians met to introduce the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act, which would limit advertising companies to a maximum of $20 billion a year. If approved, Google would need to separate itself from its advertising business —other advertising companies would need to do the same, such as Meta.
More Information ℹ
- Justice Department Sues Google for Monopolizing Digital Advertising Technologies
- Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws | OPA | Department of Justice
- The Complaint
- Google Ad Manager
- Google Ads
- Google AdSense