Competition Law: The US government is suing Google again

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Status: 01/25/2023 03:35 AM

The online giants in the US have always had an easy time dominating the competition. But now a different wind is blowing in Washington. Google is now increasingly feeling the effects of this.

The US government’s competition watchdog is increasing pressure on Google with a second lawsuit. This time they accuse the internet giant of unfair competition in the online advertising market.

In the lawsuit, the US Department of Justice is calling for, among other things, to dismantle the division of Google, in which the advertising technology is assembled.

It said Google had resorted to illegal methods to eliminate any threat to its dominance in the online advertising market. According to the accusation, the internet company bought, among other things, potential competitors at an early stage. As a result of Google’s actions, the lawsuit said, publishers made less and advertisers paid more. In the end, it hurts everyone.

Google disputes the government’s claims

Google responded that the government was trying to “identify the winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector”. It relies on faulty thinking that slows innovation, increases advertising costs, and makes it difficult for thousands of small businesses to grow.

Attorney General Merrick Garland dismissed the criticism, saying, “We don’t pick winners or losers, we pick competition breakers.”

Target auctions for ad space

The lawsuit focuses on the so-called “ad technology” market—particularly auction technologies, in which ad space is auctioned off in the shortest possible time before a website is offered to a user.

In a blog post, Google indicated that competition from rivals like Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Tiktok is increasing. There are also many specialized advertising technology companies.

The complaint loomed large

US government interference has been apparent for some time. The Wall Street Journal reported last summer that Google offered the Department of Justice as a concession to outsource its “ad technology” division to a separate company. However, it must remain a sister company to Google under the umbrella of Alphabet Holdings – and the government concessions weren’t enough.

In the first lawsuit in the fall of 2020, the US government accused Google of violating antitrust in the field of online search during the term of President Donald Trump. The group was said to be cutting deals with smartphone providers and network operators in order to give its search engine a special status. Google rejects the allegations. The process is scheduled to begin this year.

Several states are joining the suit

Several US states have joined the new lawsuit. In addition to New York, this also includes California, where Google’s headquarters are located.

Some countries have already filed lawsuits against Google in recent years. The company noted that the new lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice is largely based on a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which was largely dismissed by the court.

The US Attorney General is suing Google again for antitrust violations

Catherine Brand, ARD Washington, Jan. 25, 2023 6:40 AM

#Competition #Law #government #suing #Google

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