US Department of Justice sues Google over anticompetitive digital marketing

Digital marketing - Lawsuit

The lawsuit accuses the tech giant of using its ad dominance in a way that works against competition.

The US Department of Justice and several states across the country have filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using its dominance in digital marketing in a way that is harmful to competition.

The government has said that Google’s dominance plans are to “neutralize or eliminate” rivals.

Google has been accused of establishing a digital marketing strategy that asserts its dominance in a way that will “neutralize or eliminate” competitors by way of acquisitions and require advertisers to use its own products by making it too challenging to use the products of their rivals.

Digital marketing - Antitrust Law

The antitrust lawsuit was filed in an Alexandria, Virginia federal court. The suit accuses Google of having unlawfully monopolized the way in which advertisements are served online through the exclusion of rival products. This accusation includes the DoubleClick acquisition Google made back in 2008. DoubleClick was a dominant ad server at the time. The accusation also includes Google’s following rollout of tech that locks in the rapid bidding process for advertisements that is issued in web pages.

By the time of the writing of this article, representatives from Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., had not immediately responded to a request for comment on the matter.

Many experts in competition and digital marketing feel that this will be a difficult lawsuit for Google.

A recent CBC report quoted Yale University fellow and adtech expert Dina Srinivasan, who stated that the lawsuit against Google was “huge” because it brings the entire country together – the federal and state governments – in a single bipartisan legal move against the tech company.

This is only one of the most recent legal actions Google has faced by either local state governments or the US Department of Justice. It is far from the only one the company has ever experienced. Most notably, in October 2020, the Trump administration was joined by eleven state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against the company for violations of antitrust laws, while accusing Google of anticompetitive practices in both the digital marketing and search markets.

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