Google Hit with New Lawsuit as USA Today Publisher Claims Company ‘Demolished’ Fair Practices in Digital Advertising

Google Hit with New Lawsuit as USA Today Publisher Claims Company ‘Demolished’ Fair Practices in Digital Advertising

Published: June 21, 2023

Google is facing new charges of monopolizing the online advertising technology market after Gannett Co., the U.S.’s largest news publisher, filed a lawsuit in a New York court on Tuesday.

“With control over the largest ad exchange and server – both of which Google acquired rather than developed – Google has carried out a sophisticated, anti-competitive, and deceptive scheme for well over a decade,” Gannett said in the complaint.

Noting that digital advertising was the lifeblood of the online economy, the USA Today publisher, which owns over 500 digital and media brands, added that Google’s dominance in the ad tech market has hurt news publishers and content providers.

“Our lawsuit seeks to restore fair competition in a digital advertising marketplace that Google has demolished,” wrote Gannett CEO and Chairman Mike Reed in an opinion piece shortly after the complaint was filed.

“The data reveals a fundamental mismatch in the online marketplace. Content providers, including hundreds of our local news outlets, create enormous value but see none of the financial upside because Google, as middleman, has monopolized the markets for important software and technology products that publishers and advertisers use to buy and sell ad space,” Reed added.

VP of Google Ads Dan Taylor, meanwhile, said that the Alphabet-owned company was ready to prove that their products have benefited publishers.

“Publishers have many options to choose from when it comes to using advertising technology to monetize — in fact, Gannett uses dozens of competing ad services, including Google Ad Manager,” Taylor said in a statement. “And when publishers choose to use Google tools, they keep the vast majority of revenue. We’ll show the court how our advertising products benefit publishers and help them fund their content online.”

The complaint is the latest in a string of lawsuits against the company for alleged anti-competitive practices.

Last week, the European Commission noted that Google may have to break up its ad tech business to address monopoly concerns. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice earlier filed two lawsuits against Google related to its ad tech and the distribution of its search product.

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