DOJ Poised To Sue Google Over Digital Ad Market Dominance

The Biden administration is gearing up to take on Google in court over the company’s alleged antitrust violations in the digital advertising market, according to a report.

The Justice Department is expected to file a federal lawsuit against the search engine’s parent company Alphabet Inc. as soon as Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported.

The Post has sought comment from Alphabet Inc. and the Justice Department.

The lawsuit is expected to take an aim at Google’s advertising business, which is responsible for some 80% of its revenue. This year, the company is expected to bring in $73.8 billion in digital ad revenue.

In addition to its well-known search, which is free, Google makes revenue through its interlocking ad tech businesses, which connect advertisers with newspapers, websites and other firms looking to host them.

Advertisers and website publishers have complained that Google has not been transparent about where ad dollars go, specifically how much goes to publishers and how much to Google.

Google had previously argued that the ad tech ecosystem was competitive with Facebook, AT&T, Comcast and others.

While Google remains the market leader by a long shot, its share of the U.S. digital ad revenue has been eroding, falling from 36.7% in 2016 to 28.8% last year, according to Insider Intelligence.

This would be the second time that the Justice Department has filed suit against Google, accusing it of being a monopoly.

During the Trump administration, then-Attorney General William Barr filed suit against Google over its search engine, accusing the company of using exclusive distribution deals with wireless carriers and phone makers to limit competition.

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The Barr lawsuit against Google is scheduled to go to trial in September.

The company has also been hauled into court on three separate occasions by three state attorneys general.