Press Release Platform Competition

Public Knowledge Urges DOJ to Scrutinize Google’s Digital Advertising Practices for Antitrust Violations

May 18, 2020 , , , , , ,

Today, Public Knowledge sent a letter urging Assistant Attorney General Delrahim to take a comprehensive approach to its antitrust investigation into Google’s conduct in the digital advertising market. Recent news indicates that the Department of Justice plans litigation against Google for antitrust violations in the digital advertising market, Public Knowledge urges the DOJ to consider the broad set of business practices Google has engaged in over the years — practices that appear designed to control key elements of the digital advertising market to the exclusion of competitors.

To assist with the investigation, Public Knowledge recommends the DOJ give full consideration to a new research paper by Professor Fiona Scott Morton of the Yale School of Management and David Dinielli of the Omidyar Network. The paper argues that Google appears to have used its presence across the advertising technology ecosystem to exclude and prevent entry of competitors, raise rivals’ costs, and force buyers and sellers to rely on Google services to generate sales. If the Antitrust Division finds confirming facts, the analysis provided in this paper should serve as a guide to what a comprehensive antitrust case against Google in the advertising market should look like.

The following is an excerpt from the letter:

“If the facts support a comprehensive case along the lines described in this paper, the Division should proceed to file a monopolization complaint that includes the full variety of troubling conduct. The paper enumerates many components of a strategy to block competition, and it will be necessary to address the entirety of that strategy in order to address the harms. Enforcing our nation’s antitrust laws here would not interfere with the technology that fuels the internet’s enormous potential. We believe Google is capable of delivering digital ads and its other services in a way that does not harm competition.”

You may view the letter as well as the research paper, “Roadmap for a Digital Advertising Monopolization Case Against Google,” for more information.