The US Department of Justice is preparing to sue Google over its dominance in the online advertising market, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. A lawsuit could be filed as soon as next month.
The Justice Department is engaged in a round of interviews with publishers to gather more information for its complaint, according to Bloomberg, which cited three unidentified sources.
In 2020, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google for its dominance in the search market and its alleged efforts to suppress competition in search. The lawsuit is still working its way through the legal system.
"Our advertising technologies help websites and apps fund their content and enable small businesses to reach customers around the world," Google representative Peter Schottenfels said in a statement. "The enormous competition in online advertising has made online ads more relevant, reduced ad tech fees, and expanded options for publishers and advertisers."
The expected lawsuit comes as Congress, the Justice Department, the EU and the UK move to rein in Big Tech. The US Senate introduced a bill called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would curb the influence of Amazon, Apple and Google in e-commerce marketplaces. The UK is planning to launch a new unit tasked with rooting out "predatory practices" of Big Tech. Last month, the EU approved the Digital Markets Act to regulate Apple, Google and Meta with the goal of allowing greater competition in e-commerce sales and apps.
The Department of Justice declined to comment.
Google has apparently tried to address the department's concerns to prevent the new lawsuit. The company reportedly told the DOJ last month that it was willing to split off its ad business.