Google has established dominance in the online ad sales industry and the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether monopolizing tactics are being implemented.
Google has been the subject of investigation from both the U.S. Justice Department and State Attorneys General across the country. The main focus of investigation is whether Google is mishandling its power as the lead online sales establishment. Questions from the subpoena are focused on understanding exactly how the industry of online sales works.
The online search engine established its dominance by acquiring different companies involved in the ad-technology sector. One particularly important acquisition was the $3.1 billion deal buying out DoubleClick. When the deal was finalized, regulators had warned Google that if services from DoubleClick and Google were packaged in ways that would stifle competition then there would be increased oversight.
Essentially, Google owns the leading platform where ad space is auctioned off. Online publishers buy ad space and once they’ve acquired ad space, they auction off the space to the highest bidder. DoubleClick, now owned by Google, is where publishers first purchase ad space. Google has ownership of where the majority of online publishers purchase ad space and then sell it.