Gannett, the largest news publisher in the United States, announced on Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit against tech giant Google and its parent company Alphabet, alleging that they monopolize advertising technology (ad-tech) markets. The media company is seeking ‘’very substantial” damages.
‘’Google controls 90% of the market for “publisher ad servers,” which publishers use to offer ad space for sale,’’ the company said in its press release. ‘’Google also controls over 60% of the market for “ad exchanges,” which run auctions among advertisers bidding for ad space on publishers’ websites.’’
‘’Finally, Google controls the largest source of advertisers bidding on exchanges,’’ it said. ‘’For Gannett, 60% of all buyers come through Google. The obviously painful result is that Google unfairly controls and manipulates all sides of each online advertising transaction.’’
The publisher of USA Today added that while digital marketing has seen an eight-fold increase since 2009 and transformed into a $200 billion business, news publishers’ revenue, on the other hand, has experienced a significant decline, suggesting that Google is taking the large piece of the pie.
“Google has monopolized market trading to their advantage and at the expense of publishers, readers and everyone else,’’ said Gannett Chairman and CEO Michael Reed in a statement. ‘’Digital advertising is the lifeblood of the online economy. Without free and fair competition for digital ad space, publishers cannot invest in their newsrooms. For more than a hundred years, Gannett has been a tireless advocate for freedom of the press empowering communities to thrive. This lawsuit seeks to ensure we can continue our mission for hundreds of years more.”
The news comes just days after the European Commission sent a statement of objections to Google saying it should break up its advertising business.
In addition, earlier this year, the tech giant was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice and 8 states for ‘’monopolizing multiple digital advertising technology products’’.