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Google Antitrust Trial to Proceed After Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss

Google, antitrust, lawsuits

A judge denied Google’s motion to end U.S. antitrust regulators’ case focusing on its digital advertising.

In a Friday (June 14) hearing, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that Google must face a trial, Reuters reported Friday.

The Justice Department’s case claims that Google illegally dominates the online advertising technology market, according to the report.

In its motion to gain a win without a trial, Google argued that antitrust laws don’t prevent companies from refusing to deal with their rivals and that the regulators had not correctly defined the AdTech market, per the report.

After Friday’s ruling, a Google spokesperson told Reuters: “We look forward to setting the record straight.”

The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 9, with Brinkema presiding, according to the report.

Friday’s ruling comes a week after Google succeeded in its effort to avoid a jury trial and instead have the trial on antitrust charges heard by a judge.

Brinkema made that ruling June 7 after the company paid the federal government an amount covering the damages eight federal agencies alleged that they suffered because of Google’s actions — $2.3 million.

At that point, the judge said that Google’s check satisfied any damage claims, that a jury is no longer needed and that the trial will begin in September.

When the Justice Department filed the lawsuit in September, it said Google had illegally seized control of the online ad sector and said the solution is for a court to order the break-up of the digital search giant.

Google countered at the time that it was facing increased ad competition from other Big Tech players and that the Justice Department was asking it to divest itself of acquisitions the department itself — along with other regulators — had approved.

In April, the company accused the federal government of fabricating a market for its antitrust suit, said the Justice Department still had not shown that the company commanded a 70% share of the online advertising market and asked the judge to dismiss the suit.

Google said that the government ignored Google rivals like Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and TikTok, each of which vies for online ad dollars.