Feds poised to file another antitrust suit against Google this week: report

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to sue Alphabet Inc. in the coming days over its dominance in the online ad market, according to a report late Monday.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported the antitrust suit is expected to be filed in federal court before the end of this week, and as soon as Tuesday.

The pending filing has been rumored for months, after the Justice Department reportedly rejected concessions offered by Google last summer. A Google spokesperson declined to comment Monday.

Google dominates the online ad market, earning more than one-quarter of U.S. digital-advertising revenue, according to estimates from research firm Insider Intelligence Inc.

It would be the second antitrust suit filed by the Justice Department against Google parent Alphabet. In October 2020, the DOJ accused Google of being “a monopolist in the general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising markets.” In a 2020 blog post, Google called that suit “deeply flawed” and said people use Google because they choose to, not because they are forced to. That case is set for trial in the fall.

Alphabet faces a number of other lawsuits targeting its business practices, including a $16.3 billion class-action suit filed in the U.K. in November accusing the tech giant of reaping “super profits” at the expense of thousands of smaller companies. Google called that lawsuit “speculative and opportunistic.”

Alphabet’s Class A shares
GOOGL,
+1.81%
are down 24% over the past 12 months while its Class C shares
GOOG,
+1.94%
have fallen about 22%, compared to the S&P 500’s
SPX,
+1.19%
9% dip over the past year. Both classes of Alphabet shares dipped nearly 1% in after-hours trading Monday after the Bloomberg report was published.

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