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Judge Rules Google Must Keep DOJ Ad Tech Case In Virginia

 |  March 12, 2023

In a victory for the U.S. Justice Department, a federal judge on Friday rejected Google’s request to move its antitrust lawsuit over online advertising to New York. The lawsuit, filed in late December, accused Google of using its power in the online advertising market to stifle competition.

“I am going to rule against you,” Judge Leonie Brinkema told an attorney for Google. The Virginia federal court is known for its rapid throughput, settling cases in a timely manner. The variety of plaintiffs and individual claims in the New York federal court, plus a case initiated by the Texas attorney general in 2020, ultimately make it more challenging to decide cases quickly. It’s expected that the process will take longer.

Justice Department attorney Julia Wood said there would be significant inefficiencies for the federal government if it were required to join the larger case being heard in New York.

Related: DOJ Opposes Google’s Attempt To Move Ad Antitrust Case To New York

Wood also said there were “meaningful differences” between the Justice Department’s case and many of the New York cases. “We respectfully request the court retain jurisdiction,” she said in a hearing.

Google has formally stated that it has not violated any rules or regulations in regard to its ad tech operations. An official comment was declined when asked whether Google intended to appeal the ruling issued by the court of venue; however, they provided assurance that they will continue leading in a highly dynamic and competitive market while also reinforcing their policies on fair competition.

The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust case against Google is one of the most high-profile antitrust lawsuits in recent years. The DOJ alleges that Google has unlawfully maintained its monopoly power in the online advertising market to the detriment of consumers and businesses.