This week, the Department of Justice (DOJ), along with eight other states, sued Google over its digital advertising practices, arguing that Google utilizes its market dominance to force buyers and sellers to use its products under less favorable terms than a competitor may offer. 

George Hay, antitrust law professor at Cornell Law School, weighs in on the similarities and differences between this case and the case against Google in 2000 – noting the matter is unlikely to be resolved quickly.

Hay says:

“The current case is aimed at Google’s control of digital advertising technology which has a direct effect on Google’s ability to charge monopoly prices to advertisers seeking to advertise on Google’s AdX exchange. But there is a clear linkage between the two cases in that the (alleged) end result of Google’s conduct is to make monopoly profits on certain kinds of advertising. 

“The 2000 case focused on Google’s monopolization of search. The interesting and challenging aspect of the case is that Google does not charge consumers to use its search engine; rather, it monetizes its alleged dominance in search by charging for search-related advertising.

“All we have is the complaint, which is how the matter is put to the court by the DOJ and the states. Google does not have to issue a detailed response or rebuttal to the DOJ claims, though they will of course deny that Google has done anything unlawful. But the full Google response will unfold only over a period of months and even years. The public should understand that every action Google has taken has been vetted in advance by Google’s team of antitrust lawyers, so it should not be assumed that Google has no good response to the allegations. The matter is unlikely to be resolved quickly.”


Cornell University has dedicated television and audio studios available for media interviews.


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