The US Justice Department accused Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday of abusing its dominant position in digital advertising, threatening to dismantle a key company at the heart of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful internet companies.
The government said Google should be forced to sell its (ads manager) unit, targeting an activity that generated about 12 percent of Google’s revenue in 2021, but also plays a vital role in the company’s search engine and overall sales, reports Al-Rai daily quoting Reuters.
“Google used illegal, exclusionary, and anticompetitive means to eliminate or severely reduce any threat to its dominance in digital advertising technologies,” the antitrust complaint states.
Google, whose ad business contributes about 80 percent of its revenue, said the government “continues to make a flawed argument that will slow innovation, raise advertising fees and make it difficult for thousands of small businesses and publishers to grow.”
The federal government has said its investigations and lawsuits into the tech giants’ activities are aimed at giving way to smaller competitors to a group of powerful companies that include Amazon.com and Facebook’s owner Meta Platforms and Apple.
The lawsuit, filed by the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden on Tuesday, follows an antitrust lawsuit filed in 2020 against Google during former President Donald Trump’s term.
The 2020 lawsuit alleges violations of antitrust law were committed by the company achieving or maintaining its dominant position through its monopoly on Internet search, and a trial is scheduled to begin in September.
Eight states joined the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, including California, where Google is headquartered.