The US Justice Department and eight states sued Alphabet’s Google, calling for the break up of the search giant’s ad-technology business over alleged illegal monopolization of the digital advertising market. From a report: “Google abuses its monopoly power to disadvantage website publishers and advertisers who dare to use competing ad tech products in a search for higher quality, or lower cost, matches,” the Justice Department said in the complaint, which was filed in federal court in Virginia. New York, California and Virginia were among the states that signed on to the complaint.
The lawsuit represents the Biden administration’s first major case challenging the power of one of the nation’s largest tech companies, following through on a probe that began under former President Donald Trump. It also marks one of the few times the Justice Department has called for the breakup of a major company since it dismantled the Bell telecom system in 1982. Google is the dominant player in the $278.6 billion US digital-ad market, controlling most of the technology used to buy, sell and serve online advertising. A resolution in the case could be years away. The lawsuit marks the DOJ’s second antitrust suit against Google and the fifth major case in the US challenging the company’s business practices.