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Business News/ News / India/  US judge denies Google's bid to escape advertising antitrust case
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US judge denies Google's bid to escape advertising antitrust case

The lawsuit alleges that Google holds a virtual monopoly in online advertising that works to the detriment of consumers

Pedestrians walk past a Google office, Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in San Francisco, near the building where a technology executive was fatally stabbed outside. The tech entrepreneurs who flocked to San Francisco two decades ago bringing jobs and wealth, and also soaring housing prices and gentrification, are becoming a rising political force in a city they say is woefully off track. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP)Premium
Pedestrians walk past a Google office, Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in San Francisco, near the building where a technology executive was fatally stabbed outside. The tech entrepreneurs who flocked to San Francisco two decades ago bringing jobs and wealth, and also soaring housing prices and gentrification, are becoming a rising political force in a city they say is woefully off track. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP)

A US federal judge has denied Google’s motion to dismiss a Justice Department antitrust case focused on advertising technology. It said the government’s case was strong enough to go forward. The US government, which filed the ad tech lawsuit in January has argued that the tech giant should be forced to sell its ad manager suite. The lawsuit alleges that Google holds a virtual monopoly in online advertising that works to the detriment of consumers.

“I’m going to deny the defendant’s motion to dismiss," Judge Leonie Brinkema said in a federal court in Virginia. Brinkema ruled the lawsuit alleging Google wields monopolistic power in the world of online advertising can proceed in its entirety.

Her ruling is the second setback for Google at the federal court in Alexandria. Google had earlier tried to get the case consolidated with a similar lawsuit that's been ongoing for several years in New York. But Brinkema ruled last month that the case can proceed in the Alexandria courthouse, which is known as the “Rocket Docket" for its reputation of adjudicating disputes swiftly.

Google's motion is the company's latest effort to end costly, time-consuming antitrust lawsuits. It also asked a federal court in Washington to dismiss claims in a 2020 lawsuit filed by the government.

Arguing for Google, Eric Mahr said that the Justice Department failed to allege a high enough market share. However, the judge said there were factors beyond market share to consider, for example, if a company was guilty of "rapacious conduct."

The US judge also took the issue the government had reviewed Google's deals to buy DoubleClick and Admeld, both more than 10 years ago, to increase its clout in ad tech, noting that the government said it made a mistake.

Google's defendant stated that the Justice Department failed to show that advertisers suffered any damages because of Google's actions. He also said the government improperly excluded Facebook and others in its definition of the market, calling them "obvious substitutes."

After the hearing, Google's vice president of global ads Dan Taylor said the lawsuit “ignores the reality of today’s dynamic digital advertising space, where we compete against hundreds of companies like Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok. "

The statement said the lawsuit "would slow innovation, raise advertising fees, and make it harder for thousands of small businesses and publishers to grow."

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Published: 29 Apr 2023, 05:59 AM IST
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