The lawsuit asked U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to force Google to sell much of its suite of ad technology products, which include software for buying and selling ads, a marketplace to complete the transactions and a service for showcasing the ads across the internet. The lawsuit also asked the court to stop the company from engaging in allegedly anticompetitive practices.
It is the fifth antitrust lawsuit filed by U.S. officials against Google since 2020, as lawmakers and regulators around the world try to rein in the power that big tech companies exert over information and commerce online. In Europe, Amazon, Google, Apple and others have faced antitrust investigations and charges, while regulators have passed new laws to limit social media’s harms and some practices such as data collection.
In the United States, Google has faced particular scrutiny. In 2020, a group of states led by Texas filed an antitrust lawsuit against it involving advertising technology, while the Justice Department and another group of states separately sued Google over claims that it abused its dominance over online search. In 2021, some states also sued over the company’s app store practices.