The shareholders of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, have filed a lawsuit against the company. The investigation launched by the US Department of Justice has already resulted in "significant damage."
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Sundar Pichai, the CEO of the holding, Ruth Porat, the director of brand development, and Philipp Schindler, the director of brand development are among the defendants. According to the plaintiffs, the company deliberately concealed antitrust violations from shareholders between February 4, 2020 and January 23, 2023, the day before the US Department of Justice announced the start of an antitrust investigation against Google.
Google monopolized the digital advertising market by deliberately infiltrating competitors, forcing advertisers and publishers to use their tools, distorting the competitive nature of advertising auctions and manipulating their results, according to the department. In a ruling filed by the Ministry of Justice, the company will have to sell the Ad Manager package and other advertising tools in order to reestablish a competitive environment.
The authors of the new lawsuit claim that the company's management was aware of the anti-competitive nature of their actions but did not stop violating the law in order to generate income. The plaintiffs contend that the company's leaders had a choice: admit their actions and suffer the consequences, such as a stock market decline between 2020 and 2023.
Although the antitrust action against the Department of Justice over the online advertising market is still in its preliminary stages, another 2020 attempt to monopolize the web search market is now revealing some interesting twists: the company was recently accused of deliberately destroying evidence – messages in internal conversations.
The Register is certain that investors will have to pay for the material damage incurred by the Ministry of Justice, but it appears that it will not be easy to demonstrate the fact of such damage. Following the opening of the 2020 antitrust lawsuit, Alphabet shares went up and mostly rose in price until the beginning of 2022. Another positive factor for the market was the recent announcements of new AI products from Google.
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