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Gannett Sues Google Over Monopolization Of Digital Ad-Tech

 |  June 20, 2023

Gannett, the parent company of numerous news publications including USA TODAY, has filed a lawsuit against Google regarding their digital advertising practices.

On Tuesday, a federal lawsuit was filed against Google in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The accusations include monopolizing advertising technology markets, using deceptive commercial practices, and violating US antitrust and consumer protection laws. The Wall Street Journal reported on the lawsuit.

“Google controls 90% of the market for ‘publisher ad servers,’ which publishers use to offer ad space for sale,” Gannett said in a statement. “Google also controls over 60% of the market for ‘ad exchanges,’ which run auctions among advertisers bidding for ad space on publishers’ websites.”

Digital ads provide revenue for publishers to support their operations, and Gannett is currently the largest publisher in the United States.

Related: DOJ Preparing Google Ad Technology Suit

Gannett’s CEO, Mike Reed, stated that news publishers rely on digital ad revenue to provide important content to communities. However, Google’s practices have had negative implications on revenue and have forced the reduction of local news. Reed expressed that without fair competition for digital ad space, publishers are unable to invest in their newsrooms.

Gannett said that last year, “Google made upwards of $30 billion in revenue from the sale of ad space on publishers’ websites, which was six times the digital advertising revenue of all U.S. news publications, combined.”

Google has faced multiple lawsuits, including one from Gannett, over allegations of unfair ad practices. In 2020, several state attorneys general filed similar lawsuits, and this year, the Justice Department and more states sued Google for monopolizing digital advertising technologies.