Washington, (EFE).- The United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, for its online advertising business.

The department and eight other states accuse the tech giant of illegally abusing its dominance in digital advertising and violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.

According to the lawsuit, Google “has corrupted legitimate competition in the ad technology industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide range of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers, and brokers to facilitate digital advertising,” the lawsuit states.

He adds: “Competition in the ad tech space has been disrupted for reasons that were neither accidental nor inevitable.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland (C) together with Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta (d) and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter (i) announce an antitrust lawsuit against Google from Alphabet Inc. EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

At a press conference Tuesday to report the lawsuit, US Attorney General Merrick Gardland said Google’s “exclusive” conduct has “severely weakened, if not destroyed, competition in the technology advertising industry.” ».

As Gardland stressed, Google controls the technology used by almost all the websites that offer advertising space on the network, controls the tools used by advertisers and also controls the exchange between them and those who publish them.

“As a result of this scheme, websites earn less and advertisers pay more,” Gardland said.

The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, seeks to have a court force the company to get rid of Google Ad Manager (its ad management platform) and for the court to prohibit Google from continuing to engage in any of the practices anticompetitive actions described in his complaint.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announces an antitrust lawsuit against Google from Alphabet Inc, EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

This is the second major antitrust lawsuit filed against Google by the Department of Justice in the past 3 years, after it announced in 2020, along with a coalition of attorneys general, the lawsuit for using anticompetitive tactics to illegally monopolize the search markets and online advertising.

The vast majority of Google’s revenue (81% in 2021) comes from advertising. In 2021, it entered 209,000 million for this concept, a figure that makes it the largest advertising company in the world.

Google’s ad dominance stems in large part from the acquisition of ad technology that has given it an ad-serving advantage over its competitors.

In 2007, it bought DoubleClick, an advertising services company that allowed it to sell display ads on websites.

In 2010, it acquired AdMob, a mobile advertising network, with which it launched its mobile advertising business.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announces an antitrust lawsuit against Google from Alphabet Inc. EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

At the press appearance, Gardland explained that this lawsuit is one more example of his department’s challenge to fight for consumer rights and safeguard competition, “no matter the industry.”

For his part, prosecutor Jonathan Kanter, head of the Antitrust Division, explained that the lawsuit accuses Google of maintaining for 15 years this conduct that has “reduced competition” and “inflated” advertising costs while “reducing » the profits of the websites, « prevented innovation » and « flattened the market for ideas ».

In addition, he warned that, “because Google dominates every part of the technology advertising industry” it has “the power to impose an additional charge on advertising transactions.”

The antitrust prosecutor explained that the company itself estimates that it has earned 30 cents for every dollar invested by advertisers who have used Google tools, although in their opinion it may be a “significantly” higher amount.

In addition, he warned that the damage that Google has done goes beyond content creators and advertisers and has also affected the entire US Administration, including its army.

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