Google parent Alphabet is facing a proposed class action lawsuit from investors unhappy that the company's alleged advertising monopoly, and the subsequent DoJ investigation into this, led to "significant losses and damages."
The lawsuit [PDF], filed in the Northern District of California yesterday by lawyers representing government employee investment management company AMI, accuses Alphabet, as well as its CEO Sundar Pichai, CFO Ruth Porat, and CBO Philipp Schindler of knowingly concealing monopolistic advertising behavior from shareholders.
This new suit seeks to establish a class of anyone who purchased Alphabet shares between February 4, 2020, and January 23, 2023, the day before the Department of Justice announced its second antitrust investigation into Google's actions.
That second investigation accused Google of monopolizing the buying and selling of digital advertising by, among other things, acquiring competitors, forcing publishers and advertisers to use its tools, distorting ad auction competition, and manipulating ad auction outcomes. If this DoJ probe leads to a guilty verdict, it could result in Google being forced to sell its Ad Manager suite and other advertising arms to restore a competitive environment.