A great showdown looms. The US Department of Justice sued Google on Tuesday over its ‘monopoly’ in the online advertising market, according to a court document, as the internet search giant already faces other lawsuits related to competition law.

The authority accuses the Californian group of having abused its dominant position to exclude its rivals, in particular by “systematically taking control of a wide variety of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers and other market players “.

Google is under attack on several fronts. This complaint is in addition to that already launched by Texas and other states in December 2020.

Dismantling of advertising requested

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking a judge to order damages against Google. The document cites in particular the takeover of the advertising agency DoubleClick for three billion dollars in 2008, which enabled the Mountain View giant to crush the competition. But at the time, the competition watchdog, the FTC, gave the go-ahead by four votes to one, saying the acquisition was “unlikely” to reduce competition. A point that will not fail to raise the lawyers of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

The DOJ is also calling for the dismantling of the company’s advertising platform into multiple entities. In 2021, Google’s online advertising accounted for 81% of Alphabet’s total revenue ($209.5 billion out of $257.6 billion in revenue). But the Californian firm will be able to oppose a significant argument: the duopoly it has long formed with Meta (Facebook) on the online advertising market is crumbling in the face of competition from Amazon, but also from Tik Tok. The two giants, which shared almost two-thirds of the market in 2017, should pass in 2022 below 50%.

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