The Justice Department and eight states sued Google on Tuesday, accusing the company of harming competition with its dominance in the online advertising market and calling for it to be broken up.
The move marks the Biden administration’s first blockbuster antitrust case against a Big Tech company. The eight states joining the suit include California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Virginia.
The fresh complaint significantly escalates the risks to Google emanating from Washington, where lawmakers and regulators have frequently raised concerns about the tech giant’s power but have so far failed to pass new legislation or regulations that might rein in the company or its peers.
For years, Google’s critics have claimed that the company’s extensive role in the ecosystem that enables advertisers to place ads, and for publishers to offer up digital ad space, represents a conflict of interest that Google has exploited anticompetitively.