Advertisers’ Antitrust Case Against Google Dismissed

A US judge on Thursday, May 13, dismissed antitrust claims against Google brought by a group of advertisers, but offered them a chance to try again after addressing what she called “serious concerns” reported Reuters.

The ruling by District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose, California, marks one of the first major decisions in a spate of antitrust cases filed against Google over the last two years by users and rivals, as well as the US Department of Justice and state attorneys general.

Labson Freeman said plaintiffs, including Hanson Law Firm and Prana Pets, that alleged Google abuses its dominance in digital advertising need to clarify which market they think it monopolizes.

“The Court is particularly concerned that Plaintiffs’ market excludes social media display advertising and direct negotiations,” she wrote.

The plaintiffs also need to better explain why Google’s refusal to support rival systems that the advertisers rely upon is anticompetitive, because antitrust law does not require monopolists to help competitors survive, Labson Freeman said.

“The Court has serious concerns that some of Plaintiffs’ allegations rely on a ‘duty to deal’ theory of antitrust,” she wrote.

Plaintiffs have until June 14 to amend their lawsuit, according to the decision.

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