The US Justice Department on Monday was seemingly ready to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google, charging that the search giant has an unfair dominance over the digital advertising market. The case is expected to be filed in federal court before the end of the week, according to Bloomberg, which cited unidentified sources.
The expected lawsuit comes as Congress, the Justice Department, the EU and the UK move to rein in Big Tech. The US Senate introduced a bill called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would curb the influence of Amazon, Apple and Google in e-commerce marketplaces.
Google’s massive ad tech business has been under scrutiny from regulators in the US and EU. Google reportedly offered to allow third-party ad platforms on YouTube in an attempt to settle an ongoing antitrust investigation by the European Union without paying a hefty fine. In the US, Google also faces an ongoing lawsuit in Texas that alleges its ad tech business harms rivals by engaging in “false, deceptive, or misleading acts.”
The lawsuit would represent the Justice Department’s second monopoly case against Google. In 2020, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Alphabet-owned company for its dominance in the search market and its alleged efforts to suppress competition in search. The lawsuit is still working its way through the legal system.
Google has reportedly tried to address the department’s concerns to prevent the new lawsuit. The company reportedly told the Justice Department last year that it’s willing to split off its ad business.
Google declined to comment, and the Justice Department didn’t respond to a request for comment.