The Trump administration’s Department of Justice has sped up an examination of Google’s digital advertising practices, and a lawsuit is expected to be filed this year. Under the Trump administration, the DOJ sued Google over its search business, as well as other state attorneys general for digital ad practices.
According to a source familiar with the situation, anti-trust authorities in the United States are readying a second monopoly lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google over its digital advertising business, escalating the government’s accusations that Google is misusing its dominance.
The Justice Department’s interest in Google’s ad tech market has been under way since the Trump administration. Instead than suing Google for its search business, the DOJ sued it over its distribution arrangements with wireless carriers and phone manufacturers, claiming that the company used them to exclude competition.
A group of state attorneys general, led by Texas, filed another antitrust case against Google in March 2019, claiming the company had illegally monopolized the digital advertising market. The states alleged that Google reached an illicit agreement with Facebook Inc to defraud buyers and sellers of online ads through bidding manipulation.
According to the same source, the DOJ’s inquiry has also examined Facebook’s agreement with WhatsApp.
Google claims that it does not dominate the advertising technology market, pointing to competition from other large organizations including Amazon.com Inc, Comcast Corp, and Facebook. It also disputes the allegation that it is manipulating auctions to benefit Facebook.
“Our advertising solutions help websites and apps finance their content, enable small businesses to expand, and protect users from predatory privacy breaches and poor ad experiences. There is a lot of competition in advertising tools these days, which has resulted in more relevant online ads at lower costs for publishers and advertisers”, the company stated.
Google’s market dominance has exploded since its inception. It owns major pieces of the internet advertising business. Advertisers and publishers use Google’s ad-buying and ad-selling services, as well as a trading platform where both sides conduct transactions in nanoseconds. Last year, Google’s ad-tech solutions generated a total of US$23 billion in revenue.