Google’s Antitrust Argument
July 27, 2020
In a research paper filed with Australian regulators, Google’s go-to antitrust attorney Daniel Bitton, a partner at Axinn, Veltrop and Harkrider, and Stephen Lewis, an economic consultant, detail the argument that the tech company will use to counter monopoly charges the DOJ is likely to file. The document was submitted to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as part of a study of the online ad market. In it, the authors argue that although Google accounts for more than one-quarter of spending in the global digital ad market, it does not control enough of the industry to overcharge its customers or undercut its competitors. They say that Google has no incentive to squeeze advertisers on ad rates or publishers on fees. Attorney General William P. Barr has had several prosecutors investigating the company for about a year. They’ve talked to Google’s competitors in media, technology and advertising. The suit they file could also relate to other aspects of Google’s business. Barr, an antitrust specialist when he was in private practice, is taking a keen interest in the investigation. The paper Britton and Lewis filed notes that Google’s systems work with other companies’ products. They argue that Google makes ad buying more efficient, and deny that the company’s software gives it an inappropriate advantage over its competitors’ bids for ad space.
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