US Department of Justice (DOJ) Sue Google for Trying to Eliminate Ad Rivals

Technology

According to a court document, the US justice department and eight states filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Alphabet’s Google for allegedly abusing its dominance over the digital advertising industry.

In its antitrust complaint, the US government claimed that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies.

The government asserts that Google’s strategy to gain dominance has been to acquire competitors and make it difficult for advertisers to use competitors’ products in order to neutralize or eliminate competitors. It is a part of a new, albeit sluggish, effort by the United States to control big tech companies that have grown largely unchecked over the past decade and a half.

The federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, was where the antitrust lawsuit was filed. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that for 15 years, Google has pursued a course of anti-competitive conduct that has stopped the rise of rival technologies and manipulated the online ad auctions to force advertisers and publishers to use its tools.

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Garland said that, to begin, Google is in charge of the technology that nearly every major website publisher uses to sell advertising space. Second, Google owns the most popular tool that advertisers use to purchase that advertising space. Thirdly, that Google owns the largest ad exchange, which matches advertisers and publishers each time ad space is sold.

In the suit filed by the department, Google is alleged to have unlawfully monopolized the method by which ads are displayed online by excluding competitors. This includes its 2008 acquisition of DoubleClick, a dominant ad server, and subsequent implementation of technology that secures the bidding process for ads served on Web pages in a split-second.

With Google’s ad manager, big publishers with a lot of direct sales can manage their ads. In contrast, the ad exchange is a marketplace for buying and selling online display ads in real time.

Sandy

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