US sues Google over ‘anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful’ ad tech monopoly
The United States Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that the search engine giant has engaged in anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the online advertising market.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, seeks to stop Google from maintaining its monopoly power in the market for online search advertising and search syndication services.
According to the complaint, Google has unlawfully maintained its monopoly power by striking anticompetitive agreements with both publishers and advertisers that excluded competitors from the market.
The Justice Department alleges that Google has used its market power to foreclose competition in the online advertising markets by:
• Entering into exclusive agreements with publishers that prevent them from displaying ads from Google’s competitors
• Entering into exclusive agreements with advertisers that prevent them from using Google’s competitors
• Applying exclusive terms to its ad purchases that make it more difficult for competitors to sell advertising
• Restricting publishers from displaying ads from Google’s competitors
• Using its market power to pressure publishers to use Google’s ad tech products
• Using its market power to pressure advertisers to use Google’s ad products
In addition, the Justice Department alleges that Google has used its monopoly power to make it more difficult for competitors to enter the market and to emerge as effective competitors.
The lawsuit alleges that Google has used its monopoly power to stifle innovation and expand its online advertising empire.
The lawsuit seeks to remedy Google’s anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct by:
• Prohibiting Google from entering into or enforcing exclusivity agreements with publishers and advertisers
• Prohibiting Google from applying exclusive terms to its ad purchases
• Prohibiting Google from using its market power to pressure publishers and advertisers to use its ad products
• Restoring competition in the market for online search advertising and search syndication services
The lawsuit is the latest development in the Justice Department’s ongoing antitrust investigation of Google.
This is not the first time that the Justice Department has taken action against Google for antitrust violations.
In 2013, the department filed a lawsuit against Google alleging that the company had violated antitrust laws in the market for online search.
The department’s antitrust chief, Bill Baer, has said that the department is also investigating Google’s conduct in other markets, including the market for mobile operating systems.