The US Department of Justice and eight states on Tuesday sued Google over its advertising business, alleging it engages in monopolistic behavior.
The complaint, filed in federal court in Virginia, alleges that Google has “corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry” through a campaign of seizing control of tools and inserting “itself into all aspects of the digital advertising marketplace.” Google allegedly has done so by eliminating competition through acquisitions and used its dominance to push advertisers to use its products over those of others. The complaint only names Google as the defendant and not any specific individuals. It also calls for a divestiture of a part of the ad tech stack.
The DOJ also said that Google punishes websites that “dare to use competing ad tech products” and uses its dominance in ad technology to “funnel more transactions to its own ad tech products, where it extracts inflated fees to line its own pockets at the expense of the advertisers and publishers it purportedly serves.”
For years, European regulators have been pretty much on their own on standing up to Google, but that has now changed, which is a great thing. The Department of Justice is finally on the case!
Unfortunately, Google’s near monopoly is now pretty well solidified, but late accountability is certainly better than no accountability.