Justice Department Sues Google Over Digital Ads

Google is facing a second antitrust lawsuit filed by not only the federal government but also by a number of states as well. This isn’t the first suit, however. The DOJ sued Google last year in a similar case.

At the crux of both suits is the idea that Google has a dominant advantage in the digital advertising market. Google allegedly buys and sells ads while still running an ad exchange.

Eight states initially filed the latest suit against Google, including California, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. The Department of Justice joined this particular suit on Tuesday.

According to the brief, Google is alleged to “unfairly try to control all sides of the digital ads market” in its buying and selling of advertisements. The DOJ says that this is an effort of Google to be a one-stop-shop of sorts in the digital advertising market.

As a result of how Google conducts business, creators of websites make less profit and those who run ads pay more, the lawsuit alleges. In addition, the suit states that there is a lack of innovation due to Google’s alleged monopoly on the market.

Breitbart points out that Google has repeatedly acquired any rival advertisement exchanges and rival servers as well. (Google’s purchase of Doubleclick is just one example.) In addition, Google has acquired yield management platforms. These platforms publish a way of finding better advertising prices outside of Google. The tech giant is further accused of changing the terms of use on the Google-owned AdX platform so that publishers can’t utilize tools that would find a better price than Google might offer.

Google responded publicly by saying via a spokesperson that the Department of Justice is “attempting to pick winners and losers” in the area of advertising technology – an area Google says is already highly competitive.

This news comes as another blow to Google. Last week, Google announced another round of layoffs. Up to 12,000 employees are expected to be affected by the upcoming job cuts. Rumor also has it that Google employees are grumbling about their “psychological safety” due to an overall downturn in the big tech industry.