Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper chain, filed a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, accusing it of violating federal antitrust laws by illegally abusing a monopoly on technology used by publishers to buy and sell online ads. Was accused.
In ComplaintFiled in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York against Google and its parent company, Alphabet, Gannett argued that Google’s dominance of the digital advertising market has cut into much of the potential revenue for those publishers.
The complaint states that while the online advertising market was worth $200 billion a year, news publishers have seen advertising revenue decline by about 70 percent since 2009, leading to fewer journalism jobs and many newspapers going out of business. went.
“Google controls how publishers sell their ad slots, and this forces publishers to sell increasing shares of that ad space to Google at reduced prices,” the complaint states. “The result is dramatically lower revenue for publishers and Google’s ad-technology rivals, while Google enjoys enormous monopoly profits.”
The case is the latest in a string of lawsuits brought over Google’s advertising practices. In January, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google for breaking its monopoly in digital advertising, while the European Commission filed a similar case on June 14. Britain’s Antitrust Authority has also been Checking Google’s Advertising Practices,
“News publishers depend on digital advertising revenue to provide timely, cutting-edge reporting and the content communities need,” Mike Reed, chief executive of Gannett, said in a statement. revenue, but also stresses the lack and footprint of local news.
Gannett publishes more than 200 daily newspapers nationwide, including USA Today as well as The Arizona Republic and The Palm Beach Post. The publisher said in the lawsuit that it has shut down more than 170 publications since 2019.
Google Ads vice president Dan Taylor said in response to the lawsuit on Tuesday: “These claims are absolutely false.”
Mr. Taylor said that publishers have many options for ad technology, and that when they use Google tools “they keep the vast majority of the revenue.”
“We will show the court how our advertising products benefit publishers and help fund their content online,” Mr. Taylor said.
Google earned about 80 percent of its $60 billion profit last year from advertising, which is the basis for such popular services as search, YouTube and email.