Google Loses Bid To End US Antitrust Case Over Digital Advertising

Google Loses Antitrust Bid

Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google must face trial on U.S. antitrust enforcers’ claim that it illegally dominates the online advertising technology market, a federal judge ruled on Friday.

District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, denied Google’s motion to avoid a trial, according to court records.

Google had argued for a summary judgment, asserting that antitrust laws do not prevent companies from refusing to deal with rivals and that regulators had not accurately defined the ad tech market. However, Judge Brinkema found sufficient factual disputes to warrant a trial.

Brinkema is scheduled to preside over the trial on September 9.

“We look forward to setting the record straight,” a Google spokesperson said.

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment.

The Justice Department and a coalition of states sued Google last year, accusing it of unlawfully monopolizing digital advertising and overcharging users. The lawsuit primarily seeks to break up Google’s digital advertising business to foster more competition.

On Friday, the regulators convinced Brinkema to block a former FBI agent who had acted as a cybersecurity consultant for Google from testifying as an expert at the trial.

Google scored a victory last week when Brinkema allowed the trial to proceed without a jury after the company settled claims that its conduct harmed the U.S. government.