Google is currently facing a lawsuit from the United States Department of Justice and eight states for allegedly having a monopoly on the digital advertising market. The lawsuit claims that the company has been abusing its power to the disadvantage of websites and advertisers who use other advertising tools. The suit also states that Google's various acquisitions have allowed them to "neutralize or eliminate" competitors. Google had tried to avoid this lawsuit by offering to separate its ad auctions business but the proposal would have still kept the division under the control of Google's parent company, Alphabet.
The US Department of Justice is suing Google, requesting that the courts order the tech giant to divest its advertising businesses. The lawsuit has been joined by eight states, including New York, California, Connecticut, and Virginia.
Watch live today at 2:00pm ET: Justice Department to Announce Antitrust Enforcement Action https://t.co/VOabbFCPRW— U.S. Department of Justice (@TheJusticeDept) January 24, 2023
The US Department of Justice has previously taken legal action against Google for similar reasons. They accused Google of illegally monopolizing the search and advertising markets in 2020, and asked the court to "break Google's grip on search distribution so that competition and innovation can take hold." Google recently filed a motion to dismiss a complaint from the agency accusing them of abusing their market dominance to limit competition.
The lawsuit is just one part of the US government's larger crackdown on big tech companies. Last May, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act. This bill could force Google and Facebook to sell off their advertising businesses, and it would prohibit companies that process more than $20 billion in digital ad transactions per year from participating in multiple parts of the digital ad industry.