The US Justice Department and eight states have filed an antitrust suit which accuses Google of monopolizing the digital advertising market.
The tech giant is alleged to have acquired competitors and directed prospective customers to its own products.
The states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia have all joined the department’s lawsuit.
The complaint said: “Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies.”
This is the second federal antitrust charge against Google for illegal market dominance.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said: “First, Google controls the technology used by nearly every major website publisher to offer advertising space for sale.
“Second, Google controls the leading tool used by advertisers to buy that advertising space.
“And third, Google controls the largest ad exchange that matches publishers and advertisers together each time that ad space is sold.”
Therefore, he added, “website creators earn less and advertisers pay more.”
As a result, very few publishers can provide their content without subscriptions, paywalls, and other charges to constitute revenue.
The department is pushing for the firm to sell its Google Ad Manager, an all-in-one ad creation tool.
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The tool is also critical to the overall sales of the search engine and cloud divisions.
The Silicon Valley company generates almost 80 percent of its revenue from advertising.
Google said: “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.”
The government has said its Big Tech probes and suits are intended to give a fair field and no favor for businesses to a group of major players like Amazon, Meta, and Apple.
Source: CBS News