The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly preparing to sue Goggle next month for allegedly monopolizing the digital advertising market illegally.
According to Al Jazeera, three sources familiar with the matter said lawyers for the DOJ’s antitrust division are conducting an investigation by conducting interviews to gather additional facts and details regarding the lawsuit.
The two sources added that some interviews have been conducted and the rest are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
This lawsuit is not the first time that Google has received. In 2020, the tech giant was also accused of dominating the online search market in violation of US antitrust laws.
There has been no further confirmation as to whether prosecutors will file the case in federal court in Washington or in New York. The DOJ declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Google spokesman Peter Schottenfes said Google’s advertising technology has helped small businesses reach customers around the world.
“Our advertising technology helps websites and apps fund their content, and enables small businesses to reach customers around the world. The great competition in online advertising has made online advertising more relevant, reduced the cost of ad technology, and expanded options for publishers and advertisers,” said Peter Schottenfels.
The investigation into the DOJ’s digital advertising is an example of the US government’s move to control the country’s major technology platforms. The US Trade Commission (FTC) has sued Meta Platform Inc, and ordered the tech company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp. In addition, the FTC is also investigating Amazon regarding its control over the online retail business.
Another tech giant, Apple Inc, is also being investigated by the DOJ for its tight control over the App Store. This type of investigation is notoriously difficult, and can take years to complete.
According to digital marketing research institute eMarketer, in 2021, Google controlled about 28.6 percent of the US$211.2 billion in digital advertising spending in the United States, while Facebook accounted for 23.8 percent and Amazon 11.6 percent.