Google Faces New Allegations Over U.S. Ad-Exchange Monopoly

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel approved class-action lawsuit by advertisers alleging that the company holds a monopoly in the advertising market.

Judge Castel had dismissed some claims, but now has allowed one to proceed. The charges made by advertisers allege that Google monopolized the ad-exchange market.

This decision marks a significant development in the ongoing scrutiny of Google's dominance in digital advertising, and exemplifies a growing concern about the concentration of power and the outcome for competition and transparency from any company. 

The lawsuit accuses Google of abusing its dominant position in the digital ad-exchange market.

Advertisers argue this has led to anti-competitive practices and has harmed the market for small advertisers that have buying, attribution and measurement tools.

Castel reviewed several cases against Google. He struck down many claims, but allowed at least one key set to proceed, according to Reuters.



On page three of the 64-page document, Castel wrote that the advertisers "have not plausibly alleged antitrust standing in the markets for ad-buying tools used by large advertisers, but they plausibly allege antitrust standing as to injuries they purportedly suffered from anticompetitive practices in the ad-exchange market and the market for small advertisers’ buying tools."

Castel wrote that Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, could try in a separate case to prove that Google fraudulently concealed anticompetitive effects of some technology. Gannett alleged that it sold some ad space directly to advertisers, but Google still made the inventory available for auction on its ad exchange to accrue transaction fees for its own benefit, Reuters reported.

Google also faces a recent $2.27 billion lawsuit from European publishers focused on market dominance and anti-competitive practices in digital advertising. It highlights a push for greater accountability.

The European lawsuit argues these companies have “incurred losses due to a less competitive market, which is a direct result of Google's misconduct." 

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