The National Association of Broadcasters says it is monitoring a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday accusing Alphabet’s Google of monopolizing digital advertising technologies.
In a statement sent to Radio Ink, NAB Senior Communications Strategist Alex Siciliano said the trade industry and its represented broadcasters have complained for years about Google’s purported anticompetitive practices and its outsized influence on the digital ad market.
“NAB is paying close attention to the latest lawsuit filed against Google and is carefully reviewing the complaint,” Siciliano said on Tuesday. “For years, broadcasters have been sounding the alarm over the anticompetitive practices of the Big Tech platforms, including Google. Their dominant role in the marketplace has come at a steep price for local news broadcasters, who lose an estimated $2 billion annually by providing their content to these platforms under take it or leave it terms.”
Siciliano said the group will continue working with federal lawmakers “to address these inequities, and [we] urge Congress to move swiftly to level the playing field.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the federal law enforcement agency and joined by attorneys general from eight states, including California, Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.
The complaint claims Google has abused its market dominance in the advertising space for at least 15 years in a matter that essentially forces digital publishers and other content creators to use its products. The terms often discourage publishers from using competing products in the marketplace.
“Today’s complaint alleges that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” Merrick Garland, the U.S. Attorney General, said in a statement. “No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws to protect consumers, safeguard competition, and ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all.”
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson for Google said the lawsuit was an attempt to “pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector,” and accused DOJ officials of “doubling down on a flawed argument that [will] slow innovation, raise advertising fees and make it harder for thousands of small businesses and publishers to grow.”
It is the second antitrust lawsuit filed by federal officials against Google over the last several years. In 2020, the DOJ sued Google on similar grounds over its search engine business. Google moved to dismiss that lawsuit earlier this month.
Read the story from Radio Ink in the link below: