Mar 27, 2023
Google Asks Judge to Dismiss DOJ’s Digital Ad Antitrust Case
(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google asked a US judge to dismiss the government’s case against its dominance in the digital advertising market.
The move shows how hard Google plans to fight against the Justice Department’s lawsuit, which was filed earlier this year. The case, which is also backed by eight states, calls for breaking up Google’s ad-technology business, one of its main sources of revenue.
Google argued in Monday’s filing that the case ignores the company’s biggest rivals in online advertising and fails to meet the legal thresholds for alleging a monopoly.
DOJ lawyers “characterize Google’s every business decision over the past 15 years as evidence of a long term scheme to amass power and choke out competition, ignoring the competitive pressures and customer interests driving Google in a dynamic and multi-sided digital marketplace,” the company said in the late Monday filing.
In an earlier statement, Google vowed to fight the DOJ attempts to break up its ad business.
“The DOJ’s lawsuit does not reflect the dynamic digital advertising industry and ignores key players we compete against every day,” Dan Taylor, Google’s vice president of global ads, said in a statement, referring to Meta Platforms Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and TikTok, among others. “The DOJ’s lawsuit is wrong on the facts and the law and we will continue to defend against it in court.”
Judges rarely dismiss antitrust cases, particularly in the Eastern District of Virginia, where the lawsuit was filed. Earlier this month, Google lost a bid to move the litigation to New York.
Among other claims, Google refuted the Justice Department’s definition of the “digital advertising market,” which relates solely to ads displayed across the web. Google argued that the market should also include advertising in apps and digital videos, increasingly important segments of the online ecosystem.
The lawsuit marks the DOJ’s second antitrust suit against Google and the fifth major case in the US challenging the company’s business practices. A similar antitrust lawsuit related to Google’s dominance in online advertising is pending in the Southern District of New York, but the judge in Virginia ruled that the Justice Department’s case can still go forward — as long as it treads new ground rather than reiterating previous arguments.
The case is US v Google, 23-cv-108, US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).
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