25 Jan 2023 12:26 pm
The US government is taking Google to court. According to the Justice Department’s complaint, the IT company abused its dominance in online advertising and impeded healthy competition. Google explains that the state cannot determine winners and losers.
On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in federal district court in Alexandria, Virginia. The authority requires the company to sell part of its advertising business. According to the complaint, Google engaged in anti-competitive and foreclosure practices to illegally circumvent or mitigate threats to its dominance in the online advertising industry. The advertising business accounts for about 80 percent of the IT group’s income.
Google occupies dominant services that allow its customers to offer ad space, create better ads and match publishers with advertisers, the lawsuit says. The company is said to have used its size and reach to buy out or thwart actual or potential competitors. As a result, advertisers and websites would have little choice but to use Google services.
“Google has thwarted meaningful competition and innovation in the digital advertising industry, accumulating insurable profits and preventing the fair functioning of the free market, instead of furthering the interests of the advertisers and publishers that make the powerful Internet possible today.”
Google argues that the government is trying to determine winners and losers in the highly competitive online advertising business. In a statement, the company said the Justice Department’s flawed arguments are largely copying a similar Texas lawsuit that was recently dismissed by a federal court. Eight states, including Google’s home state of California, joined the government. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser says the lawsuit will take action against Google’s monopoly and restore competition in the digital advertising business.
In 2020, the government under ex-president Donald Trump also filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The case is scheduled to go to trial later this year.
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