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The Antitrust Case Against Google

AdSense and Sensibility: on the Biden Administration’s efforts to break up Google’s monopoly

Google’s domination of internet search is a fact of life. What’s less apparent—if you don’t work in publishing or advertising—is Google’s control of internet ad sales. It’s estimated that the company pulls in nearly 30 percent of all digital advertising dollars. The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that it “abuses its monopoly power to disadvantage website publishers and advertisers who dare to use competing ad tech products in a search for higher quality, or lower cost, matches.” In the past, the determinant for antitrust laws is whether or not anticompetitive practices have raised prices for consumers; here, publishers and advertisers have been harmed, which has led to a different—but arguably more malicious—impact on the public. Barry Lynn, the executive director of the Open Markets Institute, talks through this landmark case.

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June 2002

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