US government sues Google

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Google has used “anti-competitive, exclusionary” practices to illegally crush or diminish any major threats to its dominance over the online advertising industry, according to a lawsuit filed by President Joe Biden’s administration against the company.

On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, demanding that the company sell off parts of its advertising business. Advertising generates roughly 80% of the Big Tech behemoth’s revenue.

Google owns dominant services that allow customers to offer advertising space, create better ads, and connect publishers and advertisers. According to the lawsuit, the company has used its size and reach to buy out or disrupt “actual or potential” competitors, leaving advertisers and websites with little choice but to use its services.

“Google has stifled meaningful competition and discouraged innovation in the digital advertising industry, taken supra-competitive profits for itself, and prevented the free market from functioning fairly to support the interests of the advertisers and publishers who enable today’s powerful internet,” the DOJ stated.

Google contended that the government was attempting to pick winners and losers in the “highly competitive” online advertising market. According to the company, the DOJ’s flawed arguments are largely similar to those in a Texas lawsuit that was recently dismissed by a federal court.

In Tuesday’s lawsuit, the federal government was joined by eight states, including Google’s home state of California. “By filing this lawsuit, we are taking action to unwind Google’s monopoly and restore competition to the digital advertising business,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said.