DOJ is about to sue Google for dominance in the digital advertising market

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The US Department of Justice is about to buy Google from Alphabet Inc. to sue as early as Tuesday over the search giant’s dominance of the digital advertising market, according to people familiar with the case.

The case is expected to be filed in federal court before the end of the week, the people said, asking not to be named when discussing a confidential matter.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google declined to comment.

The lawsuit marks the Justice Department’s second monopoly case against the company, which is the No. 1 player in the $278.6 billion digital advertising market in the US and controls most of the technology used to buy, sell and sell online advertising. to offer.

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The lawsuit would also be the fifth major U.S. case challenging the company’s business practices. The attorneys general have filed three separate lawsuits against Google alleging that it dominates the markets for online search, ad technology and apps on the Android mobile platform in violation of antitrust laws.

The Mountain View, California-based company is No. 1 in the $626.86 billion global digital advertising market, according to estimates by research firm EMarketer for 2023, with the US accounting for the largest share. Alphabet’s advertising business is expected to generate $73.8 billion in digital advertising revenue in the US by 2023. Google has an ad buying service for marketers and an ad selling service for publishers, as well as a trade exchange where both parties complete transactions at lightning speed. quick auctions.

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Google has argued that the online advertising market is crowded and competitive. In lawsuits and congressional testimony, the company has noted that its rivals include other major players in the ad technology market such as Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

The department’s investigation into Google’s control of the ad technology market dates back to the Trump administration. The DOJ under then-Attorney General William Barr sued Google over its search activities, alleging that the company had entered into exclusive distribution agreements with mobile carriers and phone manufacturers to cut out competition. The case will go to court in September.

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Copyright 2023 Bloomberg.

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