The United States Department of Justice announced they have filed a lawsuit against Google for their monopoly on the digital ads market.
The DOJ alleges Google is “monopolizing multiple digital advertising technology products” in clear “violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act”.
They filed this suit alongside 8 other states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The suit alleges that Google “has engaged in a course of anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct” over the course of the past 15 years with various actions.
Anticompetitive actions include acquiring competition, forcing publishers and advertisers to use their product due to their dominance in the market, and preventing use of competing products.
The proper list of violations they allege the company has performed is listed below:
- Acquiring Competitors: Engaging in a pattern of acquisitions to obtain control over key digital advertising tools used by website publishers to sell advertising space;
- Forcing Adoption of Google’s Tools: Locking in website publishers to its newly-acquired tools by restricting its unique, must-have advertiser demand to its ad exchange, and in turn, conditioning effective real-time access to its ad exchange on the use of its publisher ad server;
- Distorting Auction Competition: Limiting real-time bidding on publisher inventory to its ad exchange, and impeding rival ad exchanges’ ability to compete on the same terms as Google’s ad exchange; and
- Auction Manipulation: Manipulating auction mechanics across several of its products to insulate Google from competition, deprive rivals of scale, and halt the rise of rival technologies.
The company has yet to respond to the lawsuit at the time of writing.
Interestingly, recently Google themselves have been critical of Microsoft for potential anticompetitive behavior, stemming from their attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard.