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The U.S. Justice Department and eight states filed a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday over its digital advertising business, accusing the tech giant of illegally monopolizing the online advertising market and systematically stifling competitors.
It is the second antitrust lawsuit brought by federal authorities against the company’s ad empire, which has come under scrutiny for years over allegations of self-dealing.
“One industry giant, Google, undermined legitimate competition in the ad technology industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to control the vast array of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers, and brokers to facilitate digital advertising,” prosecutors said. wrote in the lawsuit Tuesday.
While the lawsuit is expected to drag on for some time, prosecutors are asking a federal judge to force Google to separate its advertising unit from the rest of the company.
In the lawsuit, the authorities claim that the online advertising world favors Google “for reasons that are neither accidental nor inevitable.”
Prosecutors also wrote in the document: “After dabbling in various aspects of the digital advertising market, Google used anticompetitive, exclusionary and illegal means to eliminate or seriously reduce any threat to its dominance in digital advertising technology.”
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.