The US Justice Department and eight states sued Alphabet's Google, calling for the break up of the search giant’s ad-technology business over alleged illegal monopolization of the digital advertising market.
“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 Justice Department said in the complaint, which was filed in federal court in Virginia. “This conduct hurts all of us.”
New York, California and Virginia were among the states that signed on to the complaint.
Google said in an emailed statement that the lawsuit “attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector.” The case, Google said, “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.”