The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company has an unfair dominance over the digital ad market.
As reported by the New York Post, the federal lawsuit could be filed as soon as Tuesday against Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. The suit will target Google’s lucrative advertising business, which accounts for 80 percent of Google’s overall revenue; in 2023, Google is projected to make at least $73.8 billion from advertising alone.
The revenue is generated primarily by connecting advertisers to newspapers, websites, and other outlets that may be willing to host them. However, some publishers have since complained that there is not enough transparency about where the money generated by advertisements ultimately goes, in terms of how much goes to Google and how much goes to the publishers themselves.
Although Google has claimed that it has competition with rivals such as Facebook, Comcast, and AT&T, it is still the clear leader in the digital ad market, holding 28.8 percent of digital ad revenue in the United States last year. However, it has been seeing a steady drop in that percentage, which was as high as 36.7 percent in 2016.
Google had previously been sued by the Trump Administration’s DOJ, under then-Attorney General William Barr, where it was accused of maintaining a monopoly via its search engine, which is the single most-visited webpage in the world. Barr’s lawsuit is set to go to trial this September.
Three state attorneys general also filed suit against Google last year, when the states of Indiana, Texas, and Washington, along with Washington D.C., sued the company for its location-tracking methods that some have called a violation of users’ privacy. After multiple other states signed onto the lawsuit, Google agreed to settle out of court to the tune of $391.5 million.