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Justice Department Said to Be Readying Google Antitrust Ad Tech Lawsuit

Antitrust officials in the U.S. are getting ready for another lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google, this time relating to the company’s digital advertising and the allegations that Google has been abusing its dominance, Bloomberg reported.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been expediting its investigation of Google’s practices and might end up filing a lawsuit by the end of 2021, according to the report. As of Wednesday evening (Sept. 1), no final choices have been made.

The DOJ has been looking into Google’s wide influence over the ad tech market since the President Donald Trump administration was in power, and the DOJ, then under the power of Attorney General William Barr, sued Google over its search business instead. Barr’s DOJ said Google has been locking out competition for the search business via exclusive distribution deals with wireless carriers and phone makers to lock out competition, the report stated.

In addition, there was a second case by several state attorneys general, led by Texas, alleging that Google has illegally monopolized the digital advertising market, reaching an agreement with Facebook in order to manipulate online auctions where advertisers and web publishers buy and sell ad space, according to the report. That allegation is also part of the DOJ investigation, although the DOJ did not comment to Bloomberg.

Google’s response to the charges is that it does not have dominance over the ad tech market, instead positing that there are plenty of major companies in the space, including Amazon, Comcast and Facebook, that also compete for business.

In other Google news, Google’s Play Store brought in $11.2 million in revenue, as well as $8.5 billion in gross profit and $7 billion in operating income, according to statistics from a previously redacted civil lawsuit by several states attorneys general led by Utah.

Read more: Google’s App Store Brought in $11.2B in 2019, Antitrust Case Filing Says

The suit stated Google engaged in anticompetitive practices by restricting access to the Play Store and the marketplace for Android users by extension.

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