The Biden administration may launch a new offensive against Google this fall aimed at the tech giant’s advertising business, escalating the government’s battle with Big Tech to new heights.
The Justice Department is primed to file a new antitrust lawsuit as soon as September against Google over its alleged advertising market dominance, according to Bloomberg. Publishers have faced questions from antitrust division lawyers as the government reportedly prepares its litigation.
Advertising revenue is at the heart of Google’s business. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said in June that it raked in approximately $40.7 billion in revenue from its “Google Search & other” ads business during the second quarter, when its total revenues were approximately $69.7 billion.
This is not the first time Google has faced antitrust scrutiny from the federal government. The Justice Department previously filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in October 2020 during the Trump administration and partnered with 11 state attorneys general.
The Trump-era Justice Department said that Google was “unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets.”
Google has also faced antitrust litigation from competitors, including video platform Rumble, which rivals Google’s YouTube. Last month, a federal judge scrapped Google’s effort to limit Rumble’s antitrust lawsuit.
Alongside the ongoing legal fights, Google faces the prospect of changes to antitrust law altering its business.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, teamed with Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, on a bill designed to prevent companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and Meta from highlighting their products on their own platforms to the disadvantage of competitors.
While Ms. Klobuchar’s effort to secure a Senate vote and final consideration failed before the August recess, her push for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act is expected to return this fall.
The Justice Department declined to comment Wednesday. Google did not immediately provide comment.