DOJ files second antitrust lawsuit against Google targeting its ad business

For the second time in under two years, Google finds itself in an antitrust lawsuit from the US Department of Justice scrutinizing its online advertising methods.


It would appear that the US Department of Justice is set to tangle with Google for the second time in around two years. The DOJ has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, putting the fire under its online advertisement business and control of that particular sector. It marks the second antitrust lawsuit the DOJ has filed against Google recently, and the first under the Biden administration.

The DOJ formally filed its lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, as reported by CNBC. This particular lawsuit focuses in on Google’s ad business and, if it passes, could force Google to divest parts of its business related to online advertising. The states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia have also joined in this lawsuit.

Previously, the Department of Justice hit Google with another antitrust lawsuit under the Trump administration back in 2020. Said lawsuit claimed that Google was illegally using an alleged monopoly to cut off internet search competition through exclusionary agreements. The case for that lawsuit is still set to go to trial in September 2023.

Department of Justice US Seal
The Department of Justice now has two antitrust lawsuits against Google with the second targeting the company's ad business.
Source: Greg Nash/The Hill

The Department of Justice makes the claim that Google has too much control in the market and any further power could cement it as an overwhelming force in the markets of online advertising. “It could become ‘the be-all, and end-all location for all ad serving,” the DOJ argued in its suit. “Google would no longer have to compete on the merits; it could simply set the rules of the game to exclude rivals.”

For its part, Google has raised concerns about the DOJ Antitrust Division’s progressive chief, Jonathan Kanter, who has been involved in previous cases against Google. Last year, a Google spokesperson said that Kanter’s history of work against Google in court “raise[s] serious concerns about his ability to be impartial.”

Google also came in to 2023 looking to cut costs. The company just finished announcing layoffs of around 12,000 employees. With a second major antitrust lawsuit coming up, Google may find itself bleeding any cut costs out to legal fees over the course of the next few years. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates and details.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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