A long-awaited antitrust trial against Google is now 7 months away. On Monday, a federal judge in Virginia set September 9, 2024 as the start date for a jury trial in the Justice Department’s lawsuit alleging the tech giant abused its power in the digital advertising market.
The trial is expected to last several weeks and could result in major changes that reshape the world of online advertising.
Filed in January 2023, the Justice Department complaint accuses Google of using its dominance to unlawfully monopolize the ad tech industry. Prosecutors allege Google’s control over technology like its ad manager lets it block competitors and extract high fees from advertisers and publishers.
Joining the Justice Department in the lawsuit is a coalition of states, including Virginia. In a joint statement when filing the complaint last year, the states said “Google’s anticompetitive conduct has unlawfully maintained its monopoly power in the ad tech market for over a decade.”
Google strongly denies the allegations, arguing the lawsuit would actually make digital ads more expensive and less effective if it succeeds. The California-based tech giant also claims the ad manager suite provides value to both advertisers and publishers.
Nonetheless, the judge rejected Google’s request for a speedy summer trial. While sympathetic to logistical issues, the September 2024 date allows both sides ample time to prepare for the high-stakes court battle.
The Virginia case marks just one of three major antitrust lawsuits Google is fighting from federal and state officials. A similar complaint out of Texas is slated for trial in March 2025. And this May, final arguments will be heard in a Justice Department lawsuit alleging Google monopolizes search.
As the trials approach, the coming months promise to bring intensifying scrutiny and pressure on Google over its market power. The September 2024 court date ensures the long-running antitrust fight against the tech leader will continue heating up well into next year.