The US Department of Justice (DoJ) would not be convinced by the concessions offered by Google, according to Bloomberg. He had proposed to split its advertising activity by creating a subsidiary under the sole responsibility of its parent company Alphabet so that it would no longer be accused of a monopoly on the online advertising market. So the DoJ could”in the next few weeks“To open an antitrust investigation into Google, believe two anonymous sources quoted by the press agency.
The Assistant Attorney General for Anticompetitive Matters, Jonathan Kanter, declined to comment on the information when asked about it at a conference. He simply indicated that the agency was committed to litigate antitrust cases in court, especially when they involved monopolies.
The DoJ decided to refuse compromises
Note that Jonathan Kanter could be challenged from Google-related proceedings because he has already worked with Microsoft, News Corp and Yelp in the past. “Google’s competitors“, according to a lawyer from the firm of Mountain View who considers that the prosecutor is not impartial. It is therefore Doha Mekki, his assistant, who could take charge of this future procedure. “The position of the antitrust division is not to accept the regulations (…) because they suggest a compromise“, she said.
Google is a major player in online advertising. It is present in several links of the chain with a portfolio of technologies. It has purchasing platforms (DSPs) – such as Google DV 360 and Google Ads – which allow advertisers to connect to multiple supply side platforms (SSPs) in order to participate in the auctions organized by them. Google AdX is Google’s SSP, a marketplace where buyers of advertising space and publishers wishing to sell it meet. Finally, Google DFP allows publishers to choose which ads to display on their website or mobile app.
Google’s ad business generated $31.7 billion
Thanks to these services, Google holds significant shares of the online advertising market, which generated $31.7 billion in revenue in 2021. This position has already earned it numerous procedures and even penalties. The Competition Authority imposed a fine of 220 million euros on it in June 2021 following referrals from News Corp, the Le Figaro group and the Rossel La Voix group. It concluded that it had abused its dominant position in the market for ad servers for publishers of websites and mobile applications. A series of commitments had been made.
Google’s advertising business is also the subject of ongoing litigation in federal court in New York. The suit was filed in December 2020 by state attorneys general, led by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The European Commission has also been investigating Google’s position since June 2021. It wants to determine whether it broke EU rules by favoring its own online display advertising technology services over advertising technology service providers, competing online advertisers and publishers. In particular, the investigation will examine whether it distorts competition by limiting third-party access to user data for advertising purposes on websites and applications, while reserving this data for its own use.