US about to sue Google for dominance of the digital advertising market

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The US Department of Justice is poised to sue Alphabet Inc.’s Google on Tuesday over the search giant’s dominance of the digital advertising market, according to people familiar with the matter.

The case is expected to be heard in federal court before the end of the week, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter was confidential.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google declined to comment.

The lawsuit will mark the Justice Department’s second monopoly case against the company, which is the No. 1 player in the $278.6 billion US digital advertising market, and controls most of the technology used to buy, sell, and serve online advertising. line.

Google shares were down less than 1% at 11:28 a.m. in New York.

The lawsuit would also be the fifth major case in the US challenging the company’s business practices. State attorneys general have filed three separate lawsuits against Google, alleging that it dominates the markets for online search, ad technology and apps on the Android mobile platform in violation of antitrust laws.

The Mountain View, California-based company is No. 1 in the $626.86 billion global digital advertising market, according to 2023 estimates from research firm EMarketer, with the US accounting for the largest share. Alphabet’s ad operations are expected to generate $73.8 billion in digital ad revenue in the US by 2023. Google runs an ad-buying service for marketers and an ad-selling service for publishers, as well as a commercial exchange in which both parties complete transactions at the speed of light. quick auctions.

Google has argued that the online advertising market is crowded and competitive. In court filings and congressional testimony, the company has noted that its rivals include other major players in the ad-tech market, including Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

The department’s scrutiny of Google’s control of the ad-tech market dates back to the Trump administration. The Justice Department, led by then-Attorney General William Barr, sued Google over its search business, alleging that the company used exclusive distribution agreements with wireless carriers and phone makers to block competition. That case is due to go to trial in September.

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