DOJ finalizes antitrust lawsuit against Google for its advertising business

DOJ finalizes antitrust lawsuit against Google for its advertising business

The US Department of Justice is preparing a second major antitrust lawsuit against Google, according to Bloomberg. The DOJ would file the lawsuit “as soon as next month” in federal court in Washington or New York, cites the information.

Unlike the first antitrust case against Google that the federal government brought during the Trump administration, the new lawsuit would focus on the company dominance in the digital advertising market. Bloomberg says, citing insider sources, that DOJ attorneys are in the process of wrapping up interviews with editors “to refresh the facts and get additional details for the complaint” after “years of work”.

It’s worth remembering that in 2020, the DOJ sued the internet giant for its dominance in the online search market, accusing the company of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States”.

The Biden administration inherited that framework and looks set to follow a similar line. In fact, the new president appointed a prominent Google critic, Jonathan Kanter, to lead the antitrust division of the Department of Justice. In an op-ed in the New York Times in 2016, Kanter argued that Google was known for using a “anti-competitive playbook to cut off oxygen supply to your competitors”.

With those preliminaries and with Kanter at the head of the division, we will see how he stands. In 2020, Google rejected the lawsuit ensuring that consumers “they use its services because it is superior, not because they have no alternatives”. It is a recurring argument in response to successive demands. Certainly the alternatives exist, another thing is if they can compete with Google under the same conditions and the different courts will have to determine if their enormous market share in advertising has been achieved by breaching antitrust rules or if they are the result of superior technology.

And not just Google

The US Department of Justice investigation against Google is an example of the momentum the federal government wants to establish to control big tech after a decade without actions. Moreover, approving business mergers that have been the seed for the pernicious consequences that are now being addressed with the lawsuits.

For example, the Federal Trade Commission sued Goal seeking to force the parent company of Facebook to sell Instagram and WhatsApp. He is also investigating amazon for his control of online retail. Manzana It is not released and is also being investigated by the Department of Justice in relation to its tight control over the App Store and the price it charges developers.

These types of investigations are very difficult, taking years to prepare and resolve as they progress through litigation and appeals. Other countries have also decided to control these giants. The UK plans to launch a new unit tasked with rooting out Big Tech “predatory practices” and last month the EU passed the Digital Markets Act to regulate Apple, Google, Amazon and Meta, with the aim of allowing a increased competition in sales and e-commerce applications.

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