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U.S. Department of Justice files lawsuit alleging Google is anticompetive

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The Justice Department and several states sued Google on Tuesday, claiming that its dominance in digital advertising is hurting competition.

The government claims that Google’s plan to claim control is to “disable or eliminate” competitors through acquisitions and to force advertisers to use their products by making them harder to use. It claims that

The antitrust lawsuit was filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Attorney General Merrick Garland was scheduled to discuss it at a news conference on Tuesday.

The DOJ lawsuit accuses Google of unlawfully monopolizing the way advertising is delivered online by excluding competitors. This includes the 2008 acquisition of the dominant ad server, DoubleClick, and the subsequent rollout of technology that locks the moment-to-moment bidding process for ads served on web pages.

A representative for Alphabet, Google’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Yale University fellow and ad tech expert Dina Srinivasan said the lawsuit was “huge.” That’s because the lawsuit will unite the entire nation — state and federal governments — in a bipartisan legal attack on Google.

This is the latest lawsuit filed against Google by the Department of Justice or local state governments. For example, in October 2020, the Trump administration and her 11 state attorneys general sued Google for violating antitrust laws, alleging anticompetitive practices in the search and search advertising markets.

The lawsuit essentially aligns the Biden administration and new states with the 35 states and the District of Columbia that sued Google over the exact same issue in December 2020.

States participating in the lawsuit include California, Virginia, Connecticut, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

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