US Justice Department is reportedly poised to sue Google over its digital ad dominance

Google could soon face its second antitrust lawsuit to be filed by the US Department of Justice. Corresponding BloombergThe DOJ is preparing to sue the tech giant as early as September after a year-long investigation into whether it used its dominant position to illegally control the digital ad market. Justice Department attorneys reportedly conducted another round of questioning to gather additional information that could help strengthen their case. These new interviews are expected to build on previous ones conducted much earlier in the investigation.

The Justice Department first filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company back in 2020, accusing it of having an unfair monopoly over search and search-related advertising. For this particular case, the agency argued that requiring Android phone makers to set Google as the default search engine prevented competitors from gaining a foothold and ensured the company would make a massive amount of money from search-related advertising.

That same year, Texas filed a multistate lawsuit against Google, with the state attorney general accusing the company of using its “monopolistic power to control” ad pricing. The company’s advertising practices are under scrutiny not only in the US, but also in other parts of the world: the European Commission also launched an investigation last year into whether Google restricts competing services from accessing user data for advertising purposes . In a concession to EU concerns, Reuters reported in June that Google could allow competing advertising platforms to run ads on YouTube.

While the DOJ has yet to formally file its case, Google spokesman Peter Schottenfels issued a statement defending the company’s ad business Bloombergwhich states: “Our advertising technologies help websites and apps fund their content and enable small businesses to reach consumers around the world. The intense competition in online advertising has made online advertising more relevant, lowered ad tech fees and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”

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