Thu, 07 Dec 2023

US: Google is abusing dominance in digital advertising

Robert Besser
28 Jan 2023, 14:31 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: The US Justice Department has filed an antitrust complaint claiming that Google is abusing its dominance in digital advertising, and threatening to dismantle one of its key businesses.

Google should be forced to sell its ad manager suite, which generated some 12 percent of the tech giant's revenues in 2021 and is a crucial part of the search engine and cloud company's overall sales.

"Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies," the antitrust complaint said.

With its advertising business accounting for about 80 percent of its revenue, Google said that the government was "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."

In response, the government said that its Big Tech investigations and lawsuits aim to level the playing field for the smaller rivals of the group of powerful companies, which include Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

"By suing Google for monopolizing advertising technology, the DOJ aims at the heart of the internet giant's power," said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director at Public Knowledge, as quoted by Reuters.

This week's lawsuit follows a 2020 antitrust lawsuit brought against Google, which alleged violations of antitrust law by the company in maintaining its dominance with its monopoly in online searches.

Eight states have joined in this week's lawsuit, including California, Google's home state.

Google has "stifled creativity in a space where innovation is crucial," California State Attorney General Rob Bonta said.

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