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Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., stated on Wednesday that it considers the complaint from the US Department of Justice accusing it of abusing its dominance in digital advertising to be "without merit." The company also added it will "defend itself vigorously".

The government advocated for forcing Google to sell its ad manager suite on Tuesday, focusing on a division that contributed significantly to the search engine and cloud company's overall sales and brought in about 12% of Google's revenue in 2021.

The government is "doubling down on a flawed argument that would slow innovation, raise advertising fees and make it harder for thousands of small businesses and publishers to grow," according to Google, which depends on its advertising business for about 80% of its revenue.

The federal government has stated that the goals of its Big Tech investigations and lawsuits are to level the playing field for smaller competitors who are up against a group of formidable businesses that includes Apple Inc., Amazon. com, and Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook.

Wells Fargo analyst Brian Fitzgerald said, "In contrast with prior cases/investigations against Google's ad tech biz, we view the DOJ complaint as fairly substantive and preempting some potential Google lines of defence."

On Tuesday, the Justice Department and eight states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming that its purported monopoly over the entire online advertising ecosystem was a burden on advertisers, consumers, and even the U.S. government.

In its complaint, the government claimed that Google was seeking to "neutralise or eliminate" rivals in the online advertising market through acquisitions and that it was doing this by making it difficult for advertisers to use rival products.

It's a part of a new, if slow and halting, American effort to restrain large tech firms that have grown largely unchecked over the past 15 years.

(With inputs from agencies)

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