Judge rules against Google, allows antitrust case to proceed

Alexandria, Virginia –

A federal judge on Friday dismissed Google’s motion to dismiss the government’s antitrust lawsuit against it.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema has ruled that a lawsuit alleging that Google exercises monopoly power in the world of online advertising can be fully pursued.

Her ruling is Google’s second setback in federal court in Alexandria. Google had previously attempted to combine this lawsuit with a similar lawsuit that had been ongoing in New York for several years. But Brinkema ruled last month that her reputation for quickly adjudicating disputes allowed her case to proceed in an Alexandria court known as the “Rocket Docket.”

The lawsuit alleges that Google has a virtual monopoly over online advertising to the detriment of consumers. The lawsuit alleges that Google “defies legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the broad range of high-tech tools that publishers, advertisers, and brokers use to facilitate digital advertising.” has interfered with the

Google argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed. One reason is that the government has defined Google’s claimed monopoly too narrowly. Google lawyers say the lawsuit does not account for advertisers’ ability to advertise on giant social media platforms such as Facebook and TikTok, which operate their own advertising platforms independent of Google. claims.

In court documents, Google likened its unsuccessful antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation, a concert promoter that owns and operates a number of outdoor amphitheaters.

The lawsuit alleged that Live Nation had a monopoly on the amphitheater, but the judge failed to consider reasonable alternatives to the amphitheater venue, such as indoor concert halls and arenas. It ruled that the plaintiff failed to prove monopoly.

Brinkema said the question of how to define the market in which Google allegedly holds exclusive rights will be a key issue in the lawsuit. But the government’s burden of proof will increase in court.

After the hearing, Google’s vice president of global advertising, Dan Taylor, issued a statement saying the lawsuit was “a major challenge in today’s dynamic digital world, which is competing with hundreds of companies such as Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and TikTok.” It ignores the reality of the advertising space.” .”

The lawsuit “slows innovation, raises advertising costs and makes growth difficult for thousands of small businesses and publishers,” the statement said.

A number of states, including Virginia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee, have joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs against Google.

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