The DOJ’s antitrust case against Google is ambitious but risky

By | January 28, 2023

CNBC reports:

The Department of Justice’s latest challenge to Google’s tech empire is an ambitious swing at the company with the potential to rearrange the digital advertising market. But alongside the possibility of great reward comes significant risk in seeking to push the boundaries of antitrust law.

“DOJ is going big or going home here,” said Daniel Francis, who teaches antitrust at NYU School of Law and previously worked as deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, where he worked on the agency’s monopoly case against Facebook

The DOJ’s antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter has indicated he’s comfortable with taking risks, often saying in public remarks that it’s important to bring cases that seek to challenge current conventions in antitrust law. He said he prefers more permanent remedies like breakups compared to promises to change behavior. That sentiment comes through in the DOJ’s request in its latest lawsuit for the court to force Google to spin off parts of its ad business.

Antitrust experts say the Justice Department paints a compelling story about the ways Google allegedly used acquisitions and exclusionary strategies to fend off rivals and maintain monopoly power in the digital advertising space. It’s one that, if the government gets its way, would break apart a business that’s generated more than $50 billion in revenue for Google in the last quarter, potentially opening up an entire market in which Google is currently one of the most important players.

But, they warn, the government will face significant challenges in proving its case in a court system that progressive antitrust enforcers and many lawmakers believe has taken on a myopic view of the scope of antitrust law, especially when it comes to digital markets. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email