Wednesday, January 25, 2023

US sues Google for controlling the online advertising business

US sues Google over dominance of online ad market

WASHINGTON: A new legal battle against the California-based tech giant was launched on Tuesday when the United States justice department filed a lawsuit against Google for its dominance of the online advertising market.

The federal antitrust suit said that Google had "corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry" by illegally maintaining a monopoly.

The lawsuit went on to say that "Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies."

The US Justice Department (DOJ) and eight states jointly initiated the case: Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Colorado, and California.

Google's dominance of the ad tech industry—the technology that businesses use for online advertising—is central to the case.

According to the prosecutors, Google "now controls" the crucial industry, which means that website creators earn less and advertisers pay more, stifling innovation.

In a statement, Deputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco stated, "Google has caused great harm to online publishers, advertisers, and American consumers in pursuit of outsized profits."

Following state lawsuits alleging Google's illegal dominance of online search, advertising technology, and Android mobile app markets, the federal case follows.

Google has repeatedly denied that it is a monopoly, claiming that Amazon, Facebook-owned Meta, and Microsoft are competitors in the online ad market.

In an email, a Google spokesperson stated, "Today's lawsuit from the DOJ attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector."

Google elaborated, stating that the lawsuit "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 big tech lobby, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said that the lawsuit didn't take into account competitors offline, like ads in newspapers and on TV and radio.

In a statement, the CCIA stated, "The government's contention that digital ads are not competing with print, broadcast, and outdoor advertising defies reason."

Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta are all located in the United States, which has largely relied on the courts to limit their power.

This month, President Joe Biden urged Republican and Democratic legislators to break the political deadlock that has lasted for years and pass legislation that would impose stricter regulations on Big Tech. 

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