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US sues Google over digital ad market dominance

US sues Google over digital ad market dominance

The lawsuit asks the court to unwind Google’s 'anticompetitive acquisitions' and prevent the company from obtaining similar dominance in the future

In a bid to fend off a lawsuit last year, Google had offered to split off parts of its ad-tech business into a separate company under the Alphabet umbrella. In a bid to fend off a lawsuit last year, Google had offered to split off parts of its ad-tech business into a separate company under the Alphabet umbrella.

The United States Department of Justice on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Google alleging that the tech giant has abused monopoly power in the ad-tech industry, hurting web publishers and advertisers that try to use competing products.

The lawsuit asks the court to unwind Google’s “anticompetitive acquisitions” and prevent the company from obtaining similar dominance in the future. However, Google has disputed these claims of anticompetitive behavior in the ad-tech market.

This is the second federal complaint filed against the tech giant. The first complaint, in 2020, also questioned Google's monopoly on search. The former lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in September this year.

“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 new complaint read.

In a bid to fend off a lawsuit last year, Google had offered to split off parts of its ad-tech business into a separate company under the Alphabet umbrella.

According to Insider Intelligence, Google remains the market leader by a long shot, even when its share of the US digital ad revenue has been eroding, falling from 36.7 per cent in 2016 to 28.8 per cent last year.

Meanwhile, in India, Google has been head-to-head with the Competition Commission of India. The competition regular had levied a fine of over Rs 1,337 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in India’s Android smartphone operating system market. Google had called CCI’s decision as being copied from a European Commission decision.

Google said in its legal filings that the CCI “copy-pasted extensively from a European Commission decision, deploying evidence from Europe that was not examined in India.” CCI’s lawyer N Venkataraman had told the apex court that the competition body’s decision was not copy-pasted from anywhere.

At a global level, last week Sundar Pichai-led tech company laid off over 12,000 employees amid a global economic slowdown.

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Published on: Jan 25, 2023, 8:30 AM IST
Posted by: Tarab Zaidi, Jan 25, 2023, 8:23 AM IST