A much-anticipated second US lawsuit against Google parent Alphabet accuses the tech giant of setting out to “neutralise or eliminate” market rivals by forcing advertisers to use its products.
The lawsuit – the second following a 2020 antitrust case – alleges Google abuses its role as one of the largest suppliers, auctioneers and brokers of ads across the internet, on websites and mobile applications, and is co-signed by eight states.
It claims instances of “tying” its products, Google’s ad exchange and ad server, has a detriment to those who produce the content on what was once a free and open internet.
America’s News/Media Alliance has welcomed the suit, marking “an important day in our history where a dominant monopoly is being charged for blatantly anticompetitive behaviour.
“This behaviour impacts consumers’ data, prices and the quality of information they receive, while journalism struggles to provide valuable and critical content that informs and enriches communities across the country,” the Alliance executive vice president and general counsel Danielle Coffey said in a statement.
Google’s take from publishers is estimated at up to 70 per cent of every advertising dollar received, and has a significant impact on what news publishers and magazines receive for their content.
Coffey said legislation such as the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act was also “sorely needed” to address such marketplace imbalances.
“The lawsuit draws a direct nexus between the anticompetitive practices and those who are harmed, notably the free press. We applaud the DOJ and various states that have filed this historic case during a time of critical importance to our industry and others impacted by these practices.”