A coalition of 17 states is taking on Google.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that the Attorneys General of Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington and West Virginia are joining California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Iceland, Tennessee and Virginia have filed antitrust lawsuits against Google.
These states argue that the advertising practices employed by Google created an uneven playing field.
This article looks at the reasons behind this unprecedented antitrust lawsuit and how it might impact the digital marketing landscape.
What is the DOJ investigating?
The antitrust lawsuit filed in January alleged that Google violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prevents companies from engaging in anti-competitive practices.
In the case, the DOJ and 17 attorneys general accused Google of anticompetitive practices intended to force publishers and advertisers to use Google’s ad stack technology.
Why is the DOJ’s lawsuit against Google expanding to more states?
Several attorneys general explained in a series of press releases why they joined the DOJ’s lawsuit against Google.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced, “The power that Google wields in the digital advertising space has resulted in either smaller, less ubiquitous companies being squeezed out of the market or being made dependent on Google ads to deliver the products.” to market to their customers.”
“Healthy competition improves quality, lowers costs, and spurs innovation,” said Josh Stein, North Carolina Attorney General.
Washington’s Attorney General stated, “Ending Google’s illegal monopoly of online display advertising is a bipartisan issue.”
“Google has created an unlawful environment in the digital world that has harmed online publishers and advertisers by undermining a free and open Internet,” testified Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
“If website publishers are getting less advertising revenue because of Google’s monopolies, they either have to lower the quality of their website or pass the cost on to consumers,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser stated, “Because Google controls many of the tools in digital advertising and charges higher transaction fees than potential competitors, website publishers are earning less ad revenue, advertisers are being forced to pay more for ad placement, and consumers overall.” are hurt by higher prices and less innovation.”
“Google’s anti-competitive practices and obsessive need to control the ad-tech markets have not only controlled pricing, but also stifled creativity in an area where innovation is critical,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin claimed, “Big tech companies like Google have grown by eliminating competition in their industries to establish monopolies on everything from search to advertising.”
“Google single-handedly controls what consumers see—and more importantly, what they don’t see. They also control what advertisers can say and at what cost,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares believed.
We have asked other attorney general’s offices for comments.
How could the antitrust lawsuit affect advertisers and publishers?
Dan Taylor, vice president of global ads, responded in a January blog post that the lawsuit was unfounded and aimed at reexamining Google’s acquisitions of AdMeld in 2011 and DoubleClick in 2007.
Taylor claimed “the DOJ’s lawsuit would reverse years of innovation and harm the broader advertising sector.”
Ultimately, it could hurt publishers, who generate revenue from content publishing, and advertisers, who rely on innovative technologies to reach customers.
If the DOJ wins, it could mean more competition, lower advertising costs, and more money for publishers.
However, it could have negative consequences such as B. the crowding out of smaller companies and fewer choices for all parties involved.
In any case, the outcome of this case will be a big deal for those involved in online publishing and promotion.
Featured image: Felix Lipov/Shutterstock