by Brandon Reiter
Google is being sued by the Justice Department and eight states, accusing the company of using its dominance in the digital advertising market to crush competitors and force ad buyers and sellers to use its products unfavorable terms.
According to the DOJ, advertisers receive far less revenue from those ads than they otherwise would, this leads to money to fund their offerings. They ascertain that those advertisers are being forced to pay more than they should, and those costs get passed onto the customer.
The DOJ is seeking to force Google to sell or spin off parts of its digital ad arm so it will no longer have control over every side of the digital ad buying process: the buyer side, seller side, and the exchange.
The fed is also claiming to be a victim themselves too, asking for monetary damages for the government. They say that Google’s inflated ad prices cost the government money through ads it’s bought since 2019 to promote various agencies and services.
Dan Taylor, Global ads vice president for Google, claimed the lawsuit would harm the advertising industry and innovation, not help it. “Today’s lawsuit from the DOJ attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector,” Google said in a statement. Taylor furthered his point by warning that the government should not be able to force companies to unwind 15-year-old acquisitions that were once approved by regulators.
Google also pointed out that the digital ad market is a crowded and competitive space, as Facebook (Meta), and Amazon also have huge shares of the digital advertising market in the US, (Google has the largest). The other antitrust enforcement agency, the Federal Trade Commission, has sued Meta and Microsoft for acquisitions that they claim to be anticompetitive.
As a strong advocate for small business, its safe to say that I’m not a big fan of big tech companies crushing competition with monopolization. However, I (not a lawyer) am failing to see this as a strong case for the DOJ. Google is certainty not the only place to place digital advertisements, with Meta and Amazon on their heels.
Also, you do not have to use Google to promote your business. If you are an advertiser nothing is stopping you from going directly to where you want your ads displayed. I’m not talking about the search ads that comes up when you “google” something. To me, that would fall under their monopilzation as a search engine, which I think the DOJ has a much stronger case for (I havent heard the word Bing in a while.)
If they want to claim that the Google has monopolized the search engine industry that makes sense but to claim that they control the entire digital ad industry seems like a stretch.
What do you think?
P.S. when i was researching this article I googled “Google”. That’s pretty Meta. Okay I’ll stop.