In 2022, Google was responsible for almost 29 percent of US advertising market. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, accounted for 20 percent. Amazon comes in third place, but it is by a significant margin.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department and seven US States sued Google to end Google’s monopoly in the online advertising industry. They claim that it harms consumers, advertisers, and the US government.
This is part of a US initiative to decrease the dominance by tech giants that have enjoyed uninterrupted growth for a decade.
The lawsuit alleges that Google is trying to “neutralize, eliminate,” online advertising competitors through acquisitions or forcing them to use its products.
Monopolies are a threat to the free markets and fair competition upon which our economy depends. They stifle innovation, hurt manufacturers and workers, and raise costs for consumers,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference Tuesday.
This lawsuit is the latest US government action against Google. The US government accuses Google of illegally monopolizing advertising markets.
Garland stated that Google has been engaging in anti-competitive practices for 15 years. These include manipulating online advertising mechanisms and forcing publishers and advertisers to use its tools. Google has taken a stance of exclusion that has significantly diminished or destroyed competition within the advertising industry.
Garland claimed that Google controls most big publishers who offer their space for purchase.
The lawsuit was filed in Alexandria, Virginia federal court. It demands that Google get rid of businesses that have the technical means to buy, sell, auction advertising space. Google will keep search as its core business and other products such as YouTube, Gmail and cloud services.
As a result, “website creators” make less and advertisers are paid more.