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Breaking News: DOJ and eight states sue Google over monopoly on online advertising

Google Ads AdWords application icon on Apple iPhone X screen close-up. Google Ad Words icon. Shutterstock/BigTunaOnline

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and eight states filed a lawsuit against tech giant Google (GOOGL). The company is accused of abusing “monopoly power” giving a disadvantage to websites or advertisers who use other tools and not the company’s tools. The tech giant is also said to have acquired various firms to “neutralize or eliminate” its competition and advance Google’s digital advertising arm.

Eight states including New York, California, Connecticut and Virginia have also joined in filing the lawsuit against Google. The comprehensive lawsuit lays out the different ways in which the tech giant has an advantage over advertising. The DOJ said that the tech giant gets more than 30 percent of the “advertising dollars that flow through its digital advertising technology products.”

Last year, Google attempted to avoid a lawsuit by offering some concessions that were considered inadequate by the DOJ. The Tuesday lawsuit wants the company to divest its advertising businesses.

Earlier in 2020, Google was accused of having an illegal monopoly of search and ad markets. The agency had filed a lawsuit to break the grip of Google “on search distribution so that competition and innovation can take hold.”

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In an emailed statement, Google said that the lawsuit from the DOJ has been attempting to pick winners and losers in the advertising sector that is highly competitive. It also said that the DOJ’s argument would be detrimental to the growth of thousands of small businesses and publishers.”

The government has recently been cracking down on the grip of Big Tech across the nation. In May 21, a bipartisan group of Congresspersons introduced the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act. The act would disallow companies who process over $20 billion a year in digital ad transactions to take part in multiple roles in the digital ad industry.

In a statement, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, “No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws to protect consumers, safeguard competition, and ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all.”

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