back to article Break up Google now, says US govt in ad monopoly lawsuit

The US Justice Department and eight states sued Alphabet's Google subsidiary on Tuesday claiming the web giant has unfairly monopolized the buying and selling of digital advertising. The complaint [PDF], filed in a Virginia federal court, calls for breaking up Google, the kind of remedy sought in 1974 and won in 1982 when the …

  1. Dinanziame Silver badge

    I wonder who's going to buy these services? Who can be trusted with them?

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Verizon... the usual suspects.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        That's funny because I was about to post a comment along the lines of "Sounds good to me - now do Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Verizon"

        1. EarthDog

          I'll throw in Exxon-Mobile, The defense industry, Wal-Mart, Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Kroger-Safeway as part of a short list.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Who says it has to be sold?

      It could be spun off into a separate company, though there would have be limits in place over how closely it can work with the rest of Google for a few years to prevent the two halves acting together to sustain the monopoly.

  2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    Torn on this. On the one hand, they have a strong position in advertising. On the other hand, facebook, twitter (before musk scared off advertisers), etc. get along fine doing their own ads. Part of the anti-trust act involves companies acting anti-competitively (I.e. Microsoft using their position to gain a monopoly on office software, trying to gain a monopoly on browsers but IE was too crappy, etc., buying all their competitors so you have 4 or 5 lines of Microsoft Dynamics instead of Microsoft and 4 competitors.) Not sure Google is doing this.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Torn

      It's not about the other advertisers which have essentially the same structure, but the customers who have effectively no choice of provider for whichever network they choose. Even if big tech hasn't explicit agreed on this kind of market carve up (definition of a cartel), the effects for customers are the same.

      Vertically integrated companies are almost always anti-competitive: they integrate precisely to provide customers with less choice.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Torn

      twitter (before musk scared off advertisers),

      The largest portion of those advertisers left before musk bought twitter, citing the platform's apparent inability to clamp down on child pornography as their reason. A lot of them subsequently returned after the musky one banned the largest CSAM-associated tags and a whole crapload of child groomer/CSAM consumer accounts.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there life outside Google?

    It’s life Jim, but not as we know it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do Amazon too while yer at it.

    In fact, maybe do them first and get back to us....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't we just ban all digital advertising as fraud?

    If you're not blocking digital ads, when is the last time a) a digital ad was actually relevant and b) you actually bought something that was advertised?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't we just ban all digital advertising as fraud?

      Click on the monkey to win an iPod!

  6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Wait, there's adverts on Google?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Yes, if you use Chrome. Or so I'm told.

  7. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    What's in this for me?

    Break them up so that others will have an opportunity to bombard us with advertising.

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    the Administration should be looking for ways to support these sectors

    Cheeky. Maybe the government should respond to this cry for help from a desperately struggling company though. Pass a Google Rescue Act to acquire 55% of shares in the company for the nominal sum of $1 and in return promise that operations continue as normal for the next ten years, keeping all the main core services running, and taking 55% of all profits generated by them for the duration.

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Google was a pretty good search engine before the Ad industry broke it. If, now, the complaint is that advertisers are getting screwed by Google then that's fine by me. Screw longer, screw harder.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "used anti-competitive, exclusionary and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance"

    Hey if governments can do it why stop private businesses:-)

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