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Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    Justice Dept sues Google over digital advertising dominance

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department and eight states filed an antitrust suit against Google yesterday, seeking to shatter its alleged monopoly on the entire ecosystem of online advertising as a hurtful burden to advertisers, consumers and even the United States (US) government.

    The government alleged in the complaint that Google is looking to “neutralise or eliminate” rivals in the online ad marketplace through acquisitions and to force advertisers to use its products by making it difficult to use competitors’ offerings. It’s part of a new, if slow and halting, push by the US to rein in big tech companies that have enjoyed largely unbridled growth in the past decade and a half.

    “Monopolies threaten the free and fair markets upon which our economy is based. They stifle innovation, they hurt producers and workers, and they increase costs for consumers,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

    For 15 years, Garland said, Google “pursued a course of anti-competitive conduct” that stalled the rise of rival technologies and manipulated the mechanics of online ad auctions to force advertisers and publishers to use its tools. In so doing, Google ”engaged in exclusionary conduct” that has “severely weakened”, if not destroyed, competition in the ad tech industry.

    The suit accuses the company of unlawfully monopolising the way ads are served online by excluding competitors. Google’s ad manager lets large publishers with significant direct sales manage their advertisements. The ad exchange, meanwhile, is a real-time marketplace for online display ads. The lawsuit demands Google divest itself of the businesses of controlling the technical tools managing the buying, selling and auctioning of digital display advertising, remaining with search and other products and services including YouTube, Gmail and cloud services.

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