8 States vs. Google: A Closer Look At The DOJ’s Antitrust Lawsuit

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Following the curtails of a 12,000-employee layoff on January 20th, the U.S. Department of Justice formally submitted an antitrust claim against Google today.

With rumors swirling about a possible claim for a long time, this move from the DOJ is not unforeseen.

The suit has accusations worrying the tech company’s monopoly on the existing digital marketing environment.

8 States Join New Suit

Eight states up until now have signed up with forces with the DOJ on the lawsuit. They consist of:

  • Virginia
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • New york city
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee

Bear in mind that this claim is separate from the very first suit from the DOJ back in 2020 against Google.

In the 153-page file, the DOJ argues that Google has produced a marketing environment that favors its Alphabet-owned products unfairly.

Going into more detail, the DOJ states:

Google, a single company with pervasive disputes of interest, now controls:-LRB- 1) the innovation utilized by almost every significant site publisher to provide marketing area for sale; (2) the leading tools utilized by marketers to purchase that marketing area; and (3) the largest advertisement exchange that matches publishers with advertisers each time that advertisement space is sold.

Speaking with the monopoly accusation, the complaint further states:

Google abuses its monopoly power to drawback site publishers and advertisers who attempt to use contending advertisement tech items in a search for greater quality, or lower cost, matches. Google utilizes its dominion over digital advertising innovation to funnel more transactions to its own ad tech products where it draws out inflated charges to line its own pockets at the expense of the marketers and publishers it supposedly serves.

Google Openly Reacts To Allegations

After the news broke, Google released its main statement on the matter.

Their main counterpoints to the claim concentrate on the following:

  • Government’s control within a competitive industry
  • Rewording history and reversing development

Dan Taylor, Vice President, Global Ads of Google, stated:

We are one of numerous business that make it possible for the placement of ads across the Internet. And it’s been well reported that competition is increasing as more and more business enter and purchase constructing their advertising companies.

He provided examples of the increased competition over the previous couple of years, such as Apple and Amazon’s increased financial investment in their advertising platforms and other media companies like Comcast and Disney.

Where Does This Leave The Advertising Market?

If Google is condemned in this lawsuit, that would likely imply the reversal of 15-year acquisitions such as AdMeld and DoubleClick.

If those are shut down, it’s tough to say just how much it would directly affect marketing technologies within the Google Advertisements platform, amongst others that marketers utilize.

Google also states that a judgment against Google would hurt the broader marketing sector, “making it harder for Google to use effective marketing tools that benefit publishers, marketers and the broader U.S. economy.”

Summary

The lawsuit filing versus Google is still in its early phases. It’s unlikely that any extreme modifications will take place in the immediate future.

We’ll continue to update as more info is provided.

You can check out the complete claim document here.

Included Image: Sergei Elagin/SMM Panel