The government’s lawsuit focuses on Google’s digital advertising business, which accounts for an estimated 80% of its revenue. Based on its antitrust complaint, Google has “used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies.”
The lawsuit also claims that Google had “corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide swath of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers and brokers to facilitate digital advertising.”
Aside from a free search engine, Google earns through its ad tech businesses, connecting advertisers with publishers, websites and firms that host them.
Because of this, advertisers and website publishers have expressed concern that the tech giant lacks transparency regarding where ad revenue goes and how earnings are split between publishers and Google.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia and marks the second federal antitrust complaint against the tech giant accusing them of antitrust law violations. Attorney general Merrick Garland said in a press conference that Google has “pursued a course of anti-competitive conduct” for 15 years, stopping the rise of rival tech companies, and manipulating the rules of online ad auctions to force coerce companies to use its tools.
In 2020, DOJ filed its first lawsuit against Google for its monopoly in search, slating them to face an incoming trial September of this year.