Google tries to dismiss DOJ lawsuit alleging it has an ad monopoly


Google on Monday filed a motion to dismiss a Department of Justice lawsuit that aims to break up its alleged monopoly in online advertising, the company’s first salvo in a case widely seen as a test of the Biden administration’s ability to rein in the tech industry.

The company argues in the filing that the Justice Department took too narrow a view of the advertising market in developing its antitrust argument, ignoring some of the company’s key advertising competitors, including Meta, Amazon, TikTok and others. The suit’s focus on web advertising is antiquated, Google’s filing says, arguing that online advertising in apps and video are swiftly growing.

“The DOJ’s lawsuit is wrong on the facts and the law and we will continue to defend against it in court,” said Dan Taylor, the vice president of global ads at Google in a statement.

Justice Department sues Google over dominance in online advertising

The filing is a potential blow to the landmark case brought by the Justice Department and eight state attorneys’ general, following a years-long investigation into the company’s advertising business. The lawsuit is widely being watched as a test of the Biden administration’s commitments to dismantle concentration in Silicon Valley.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Google’s new filing.

In filing the motion, Google is taking a page from Facebook’s playbook. In 2021, a federal judge granted Facebook’s motion to dismiss a pair of federal and state attorneys general lawsuits against the company, which sought to unwind the company’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

The Federal Trade Commission refiled its lawsuit against the social network, and a judge ruled in 2022 that the agency’s new case could proceed. The case, filed in D.C. District Court, is currently in discovery.

Google has been assembling a team of former Justice Department lawyers as the tech titan gears up for a coming antitrust battle. In addition to the advertising lawsuit, Google is also fighting a DOJ lawsuit against its search business filed under the Trump administration, which is scheduled to go to trial later this year. The company also faces multiple other competition complaints from state attorneys general.

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