Together with eight states, the Department of Justice has sued Google for monopolizing digital advertising technologies. These states include Colorado, California, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The civil antitrust suit that has been filed concerns violations 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
Detailed in the complaint against Google, The Department of Justice claims that the tech giant has engaged in anticompetitive conduct over the past 15 years. This is a result of its dominance in advertising technologies, forcing other companies to use its products, and eliminating any potential competition.
The Department of Justice has sent a message to monopolies all over the United States, noting that no company or industry is excluded from antitrust laws that protect consumers and safeguard competition. Their goal is to promote equal opportunities for all. By bringing this claim to light, The Department of Justice hopes to restore competition in all concerned markets.
In a statement read from Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco, she notes that “In pursuit of outsized profits, Google has caused great harm to online publishers and advertisers and American consumers. This lawsuit marks an important milestone in the Department’s efforts to hold big technology companies accountable for violations of the antitrust laws.”
The Department goes on to further allege that Google has retained publishers’ revenue for their own profit and punished other publishers that decided not to use its services. This, in turn, has had a negative impact on competition within the industry and has increased advertising costs for not only businesses but government organizations, too.
Google has long been the dominant digital tool used by nearly every website publisher to sell ads. It controls the largest ad exchange known in modern times and operates a tool that countless large and small businesses use to create and buy ad inventory.
Given their dominant standing, Google has resulted in various anticompetitive behaviors to stay on top. These include acquiring competitors, forcing businesses to adopt its tools, distorting audition competition and manipulating auction mechanics across several products. It is estimated that Google can profit more than 30% of advertising revenue involved in the digital advertising of products.
The Department of Justice has claimed that Google is in violation of both violations 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. The Sherman Act was created to ensure fair competition and economic liberty for all Americans. But this isn’t the only lawsuit filed against Google by The Department of Justice. Just a few years ago, the Department filed another civil antitrust suit against the tech giant for monopolizing search and search advertising. That trial is due to take place in September 2023.
Only time will tell what will happen with both lawsuits against Google. The Department of Justice has made it clear, that no matter the industry or monopoly involved, they will stand up against anticompetitive behavior.