The company that publishes crowd sourced reviews on businesses called Yelp blasted Google Wednesday for alleged monopolistic tendencies, in a statement to Fox News Digital, following the Department of Justice suing the tech giant for “monopolizing digital advertising technologies.”
The Department of Justice joined a lawsuit filed by multiple states on Tuesday, alleging that Google artificially exerted an unfair dominance over the online ad space.
“Google’s anticompetitive behavior has raised barriers to entry to artificially high levels, forced key competitors to abandon the market for ad tech tools, dissuaded potential competitors from joining the market, and left Google’s few remaining competitors marginalized and unfairly disadvantaged,” DOJ and the eight states alleged.
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Luther Lowe, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at Yelp, told Fox News Digital, “Google’s anti-competitive behavior only serves to protect their monopoly.”
“The primary victim harmed by Google’s conduct is the consumer, and we need to continue to keep the pressure on our leaders to advance the bipartisan legislative efforts that would stop anti-competitive behavior that serves to protect monopolies,” Lowe said. “Google’s self-preferencing in the local search market is creating demonstrable, measurable, and identifiable anticompetitive effects, hampering entrepreneurial activity and preventing the type of equal competition that fosters innovation and job growth.”
Fox News Digital was referred to an earlier statement after reaching out for comment.
“The [DOJ] lawsuit tries to rewrite history at the expense of publishers, advertisers and internet users,” Google said. “[I]t’s been well reported that competition is increasing as more and more companies enter and invest in building their advertising businesses.
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The lawsuit is the second from the DOJ aimed at Google. In 2020, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the company’s alleged monopoly over internet search traffic. Google has long held the top spot in digital advertising, accounting for nearly 30% of the industry last year.
Competing companies such as Yelp, Expedia and TripAdvisor have previously been vocal about being affected by Google’s alleged practices in the marketplace.
“The harm is clear: website creators earn less, and advertisers pay more, than they would in a market where unfettered competitive pressure could discipline prices and lead to more innovative ad tech tools that would ultimately result in higher quality and lower cost transactions for market participants,” the lawsuit stated.
The plaintiffs are asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to order the divestiture of the Google Ad Manager suite, including its publisher ad server DFP, and its ad exchange AdX.
News of the lawsuit comes just days after Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced plans to lay off 12,000 workers from its various teams.
Digital advertising accounts for some 80% of Google’s revenue, and its dominance in the space has been shrinking in recent years. It accounted for 36.7% of digital advertising in 2016 but had fallen to 28.8% in 2022, according to Reuters.
The DOJ’s other lawsuit against Google is scheduled to go to trial in September.
Fox Business’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
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