US government takes on Google over its dominance of ad-tech sector

By our News Team | 2023

The Department of Justice is seeking a breakup of Google’s business that brokers digital advertising across much of the internet.

In a case that may have major implications for the advertising-technology industry, the US Department of Justice this week filed a lawsuit against Google and its parent company Alphabet.

The department is seeking a breakup of Google’s business that brokers digital advertising across much of the internet. The lawsuit alleges that the company’s dominance of the sector constitutes anti-competitive conduct.

Digital Advertising

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“For 15 years Google has pursued a course of anti-competitive conduct that has allowed it to halt the rise of rival technologies, manipulate auction mechanics, insulate itself from competition, and forced advertisers and publishers to use its tools,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference on Tuesday (24 January 2023). 

“Google has engaged in exclusionary conduct that has severely weakened if not destroyed competition in the ad-tech industry.”

The suit further alleges that Google is “engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide swath of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers and brokers to facilitate digital advertising”.

Government ‘cannot pick winners and losers’

But Google has hit back by saying it is not up to the Federal government to decide which companies win and which ones don’t.  It said the lawsuit “attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector”.

“[Department of Justice] 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,” a company spokesperson stated.

According to the respected Wall Street Journal newspaper, the filing promises a protracted court battle with wide-ranging implications for the digital-advertising industry.

“The lawsuit asks the court to unwind Google’s ‘anti-competitive acquisitions’, such as its 2008 purchase of ad-serving company DoubleClick, and calls for the divestiture of its ad exchange,” the Journal added.

The Department of Justice has also filed another lawsuit against Google for alleged anti-competitive behaviour in the online search market.

You can read the full Department of Justice press release regarding the latest lawsuit here.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.