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Google asks judge to dismiss Justice Department's lawsuit claiming digital-ad monopoly

Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG, -2.83% GOOGL, -2.83% Google asked a federal judge Monday to dismiss the federal government’s antitrust lawsuit that’s seeking to break up its ad tech business. In a filing late Monday, Google said the Justice Department’s case ignores its ad-tech rivals and that the DOJ has failed to prove it is a monopoly.

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Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG, -2.83% GOOGL, -2.83% Google asked a federal judge Monday to dismiss the federal government’s antitrust lawsuit that’s seeking to break up its ad tech business.

In a filing late Monday, Google said the Justice Department’s case ignores its ad-tech rivals and that the DOJ has failed to prove it is a monopoly.

“In the more than three years that it has been investigating Google’s ad tech business, the United States has received more than 2 million documents from Google and taken over 30 depositions of Google witnesses,” the tech giant said in a court filing. “Yet plaintiffs remain unable to find support for their claimed antitrust harms.”

In one example, Google said that while the government claims its ad tech business controls “more than 50%” of the market, 70% is required to prove a monopoly.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Justice Department sued Google in January, alleging its dominant digital-advertising business was a monopoly and calling for its ad-tech business to be broken up. The lawsuit included eight states as plaintiffs, including California, New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

“Having inserted itself into all aspects of the digital advertising marketplace, Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” the DOJ alleged in its complaint.

Google maintains that it is not a monopoly, and that it faces stiff competition from Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. META, -1.54%, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -0.09%, Comcast Corp. CMCSA, +1.34% and others.

The lawsuit is the second federal antitrust complaint against Google. In 2020, the Justice Department sued Google for an alleged monopoly in search. The case is scheduled to go to trial in September.

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Alphabet shares have gained about 16% year to date, but are down about 27% over the past 12 months, compared to the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.16% 3.6% gain in 2023 and 13% decline over the past year.

MarketWatch reported Jon Swartz contributed to this report.

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