The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to file a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.’s Google as early as Tuesday, over alleged monopoly in the digital advertising industry, according to sources familiar with the situation, as reported by Bloomberg News. This lawsuit would be Google’s second federal antitrust case, and it would claim that the internet giant violated antitrust laws in acquiring or maintaining its monopoly.
The case is anticipated to target Google’s advertising division, which generates around 80 percent of its income. Publishers and advertisers have expressed dissatisfaction with Google’s lack of transparency over the distribution of advertising funds, particularly the proportion that goes to publishers and the remainder to Google.
In order to become a dominating competitor in internet advertising, Google made a number of acquisitions, including DoubleClick in 2008 and AdMob in 2009. Google has previously argued that companies such as Facebook, AT&T, Comcast and others were competitors in the ad tech ecosystem. However, while Google continues to dominate the industry by a wide margin, Insider Intelligence reports that its share of US digital ad revenue has been declining, going from 36.7 percent in 2016 to 28.8 percent last year.
This lawsuit is separate from the September trial date for the Justice Department lawsuit brought against Google in 2020, which is focused on the company’s search monopoly. The DOJ’s decision to file a lawsuit against Google is a significant development in the ongoing investigation into the company’s alleged monopoly in the digital advertising industry. It remains to be seen how the lawsuit will play out, and what impact it will have on the industry as a whole.