U.S. sues Google for monopoly and claims it spun off part of its advertising business

FILED – 16 August 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: A lettering with the logo of Google is stuck on a glass pane in the press center of Koelnmesse. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa – Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit Tuesday against technology giant Google for monopolization in the advertising industry, asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to force the company to spin off part of its advertising business.

The lawsuit is led by the Department of Justice, although the states of Virginia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee have joined the legal action.

«Competition in the ad tech space is broken, for reasons that have been neither accidental nor inevitable. An industry behemoth, Google, has corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of a wide range of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers and brokers to facilitate digital advertising,» the plaintiffs have charged.

Prosecutors in these states have accused Google of taking «at least» 30 percent of the campaigns advertisers place on publishers’ websites through its ad technology.

In this sense, the United States has asked the courts to «at a minimum» force Google to sell Google Ad Manager, including its ad server, the Double Click suite of tools and the AdX ad buying and selling platform.

This is the second lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against Google. In 2020, the agency already started a lawsuit against the technology company alleging that it had engaged in monopolistic practices to dominate the Internet search industry, as well as search advertising.