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Google antitrust: The two-part congressional bill is the latest in legal issues for tech companies over advertising practices




Congress will launch a bipartisan effort to break Google’s advertising hegemony in a new battle between lawmakers and big technology.

The Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act will prohibit companies in excess of $ 20 billion in digital advertising transactions from participating in more than one part of the digital advertising process.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) And Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), According to the Wall Street Journal.

Google would suffer significantly from this bill due to parent company Alphabet’s revenue of over $ 54 billion from digital advertising in the first quarter alone. The bill must essentially be divided into one form or another in order to comply with the new federal requirements.

The company’s legal issues began in 2020 with an antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice, which claimed that Google used exclusive agreements with wireless operators and phone manufacturers to control competition. At the time, Attorney General William Burr said that Google maintained a “grip on the Internet for millions […] depending on an illegal monopolist. ”

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Biden’s Department of Justice has launched new investigations into Google’s alleged antitrust practices regarding digital advertising, but no lawsuit has yet been filed regarding the issue.

But Texas filed a lawsuit, which has grown into a multi-state effort, over its advertising practices, in January this year. Google’s director of economic policy, Adam Cohen, wrote about the lawsuit that the company saw it as “more heat than light” that did not “meet the legal standard for taking the case to court”.

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“The complaint misrepresents our business, products and motives, and we seek to dismiss it based on its inability to offer plausible antitrust claims,” ​​Cphen wrote in a blog post.

Google maintains a role in several steps of its digital advertising practice – a practice that Senator Mike Lee, R-UT, claimed he wore several hats at the same time.

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“When a company can wear all of these hats at once, it can engage in behaviors that hurt everyone,” Lee told the Journal this week.

A Google spokesman said of the new law that “curbing these tools will hurt publishers and advertisers, reduce ad quality and create new privacy risks”.

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“The real problem is low-quality data brokers who threaten Americans’ privacy and flood them with spam ads,” the spokesman claimed.

Companies will have one year to comply with the new requirements if the law enters into force.

FOX Business’ Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.



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