The Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company has created and abused a monopoly in the digital advertising space. The lawsuit, which was joined by eight states, accuses Google of buying up rival companies while pressuring publishers and advertisers to use Google's in-house advertising tools.
"One industry behemoth, 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 states. "Having inserted itself into all aspects of the digital advertising marketplace, Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies."
"The harm is clear: website creators earn less, and advertisers pay more, than they would in a market where unfettered competitive pressure could discipline prices and lead to more innovative ad tech tools that would ultimately result in higher quality and lower cost transactions for market participants," the suit continues.
The Justice Department is looking to force Google to sell off its suite of ad technology products, including the proprietary tools it uses to facilitate online ad sales for publishers.
Google issued a statement calling the latest lawsuit "unfounded."
"Today's lawsuit from the DOJ attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector. It largely duplicates an unfounded lawsuit by the Texas Attorney General, much of which was recently dismissed by a federal court. 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," a Google spokesman told Fox Business.
Google has faced numerous legal challenges over its dominance in the tech sector. The company is currently fighting another antitrust lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in 2020 over the company's search business.\