DOJ, eight states accuse Google of antitrust violations

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Department of Justice and eight states are suing Google, accusing the tech giant of abusing its power in the digital advertising market.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Tuesday that the DOJ wants to break up Google’s advertising arm. He said the DOJ and eight states are suing Google for antitrust violations.

The lawsuit alleges Google uses its power in the digital ad space to harm competitors.

“For 15 years, Google has pursued a course of anti-competitive conduct,” Garland said. “As a result of this scheme, website creators earn less and advertisers pay more.”

This is the second antitrust lawsuit against Google the DOJ has filed. The first happened under the Trump administration and targeted the web giant’s online search engine.

Carl Szabo with Net Choice, which represents companies like Google and Meta, said the lawsuit has no merit. He said Google doesn’t have a monopoly.

“The only way the Department of Justice could possibly win this case is to completely ignore reality,” Szabo said. “Meta and Google combined account for only 45% of the digital ad space. … At the same time, the price for digital ads continues to decrease.”

More than 80% of Google’s revenue comes from ads. That revenue stream has weakened since the start of the pandemic.

Representatives for Alphabet, Google’s parent company, call the DOJ’s lawsuit flawed and argue it will hurt, not help, small businesses seeking to grow.