Several people pushed for a broad search complaint, said the person. Barr, who has been in charge of the probe, appeared receptive to feedback, the person added. This person and others spoke anonymously Discuss an ongoing investigation.
The DOJ has also studied Google’s power in the advertising technology market, but has no immediate plans to file a case. This area is the primary concern of many state AGs, and during the meetings the Justice Department and states made some arrangements that could allow them to move a case forward through advertising in the coming weeks, a third person said. These discussions continue.
From Friday a A search complaint is likely to be in the week of October 5th while there is a case About advertising technology is not expected for several weeks.
Both sides would prefer to move forward together, giving the case non-partisan support and greater resources for what will likely be years of court battles.
The Justice Department has been investigating Google for 16 months, investigating allegations that the company is wrongly dominating the markets in both online searches and advertising technology. The complaints related to Google’s behavior in the search market are well known. They were investigated by the Federal Trade Commission in the early 2010s and form the basis of two cases brought against the company by the European Commission.
However, Google’s dominance in advertising technology – highly sophisticated mechanisms by which digital display ads are bought and sold online – has been scrutinized for much shorter, despite regulators in the UK and Australia both scrutinizing the market.
The US attorneys general announced an investigation against Google in September 2019, which will focus on ad tech. It was only later that the state investigation expanded to include concerns related to Google’s search and Android smartphone operating system.
The uneven timing has left the Justice Department on the lookout and the area where states have had less time to investigate. Meanwhile, states are done with their ad tech investigation and almost ready to sue, but the DOJ prosecutor is still investigating.