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DOJ Prepares New Antitrust Suit Against Google: Report

 |  August 10, 2022

Google may soon be facing its second antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice. According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is gearing up to sue the tech giant as soon as September after a year of looking into whether it’s been using its dominant position to illegally control the digital ad market.

The Justice Department’s lawyers have reportedly been conducting another round of interviews to glean additional information that could help make their case stronger. These new interviews are expected to build on previous ones conducted much earlier on in the investigation. 

The Justice Department first filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company back in 2020, accusing it of having an unfair monopoly over search and search-related advertising. For that particular case, the agency argued that forcing Android phone manufacturers to set Google as the default search engine prevents rivals from gaining traction and ensures that the company will earn an enormous amount of money from search-related advertising. 

Some Background: DOJ Preparing Google Ad Technology Suit

The lawsuit against the search giant could reportedly be filed in either Washington, DC or New York, where Google is already battling an antitrust suit focused on the ad market from a coalition of state attorneys general led by Texas. 

The Justice Department’s forthcoming suit, which has reportedly been in the works for years, is also focused on whether Google has used its massive size to squash competition in the online ad market, which generated $31.7 billion in revenue for Google in 2021. 

Google has denied wrongdoing. “Our advertising technologies help websites and apps fund their content, and enable small businesses to reach customers around the world,” Google spokesperson Peter Schottenfels said in a statement to The Post. “The enormous competition in online advertising has made online ads more relevant, reduced ad tech fees and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”

In an attempt to stave off the second Justice Department suit, Google earlier this summer proposed at least one settlement to the feds, offering to spin off the business that auctions and places ads on its digital properties as a separate company controlled by the same parent company, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

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