The Department of Justice is preparing a second major antitrust suit against Google, according to new reporting by Bloomberg. The DOJ could sue Google “as soon as next month,” according to the report, which details that the lawsuit will be filed in federal court in either Washington or New York.
Unlike the first major Google antitrust case the federal government initiated during the Trump administration, the new lawsuit would focus on the company’s command of the digital ad market. Bloomberg reports that DOJ antitrust lawyers are in the process of wrapping up interviews with publishers after “years of work” that will ultimately culminate in the coming lawsuit.
In 2020, the DOJ sued the tech titan over its dominance in the online search market, accusing the company of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States.”
At the time, Google pushed back against the suit, arguing that consumers use its product because it is superior, not because they don’t have alternatives.
The Biden administration went out of its way to name a prominent Google critic, Jonathan Kanter, to lead the DOJ’s antitrust division. In a 2016 NYT op-ed, Kanter argued that Google is notorious for using an anti-competitive “playbook” to cut off the oxygen supply to its competitors.
The first Google antitrust suit was filed during Trump’s tenure, but the Biden administration inherited that framework — a rare bit of policy continuity between the Trump and Biden White House — and is still working to hold the tech giant accountable for the anti-competitive behavior that cemented its dominance over the last decade.