The U.S. Department of Justice and eight US states have filed a major antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet, Google’s parent company, alleging that it has unlawfully misused its dominance in digital advertising.
The suit claims that Google has “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.”
The lawsuit requests that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia order Google to sell a large portion of its suite of ad technology products, which includes software for buying and selling ads, a marketplace to complete the transactions, and a service for displaying the ads across the internet. The suit also asks the court to prevent the company from engaging in allegedly anticompetitive practices.
This is the Justice Department’s second antitrust suit against Google and the country’s fifth major case challenging the company’s business practices. State attorneys general have filed three separate lawsuits against Google, alleging that it violates antitrust laws by dominating the markets for online search, advertising technology, and apps on the Android mobile platform.
All parties involved in suing Google say that together they aim to “halt Google’s anticompetitive scheme, unwind Google’s monopolistic grip on the market, and restore competition to digital advertising.”
In a statement, Google wrote that the “DOJ is doubling down on a flawed argument that would slow innovation, raise advertising fees, and make it harder for thousands of small businesses and publishers to grow.”