A US judge dismissed the antitrust lawsuits against Google Inc. Alphabet is run by a group of advertisers, but offered them an opportunity to try again after addressing what it described as “serious concerns.”
The ruling by County Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose, California, is one of the first major decisions in a series of Antitrust issues Filed against Google over the past two years by users and competitors as well as the US Department of Justice and state attorneys.
Labson-Freeman said plaintiffs, including Hanson Law Firm and Prana Pets, who allege that Google is abusing its dominance in digital advertising, need to clarify the market they believe it has a monopoly on, writing: “The court is particularly concerned that the plaintiffs’ market is excluding Advertisements shown on social media and direct negotiations.
Labson-Freeman said plaintiffs also need to explain why Google is refusing to support the competing systems that advertisers rely on, which is not competitive, because antitrust law does not require monopolists to help competitors survive.
“The court has serious concerns that some of the plaintiffs’ allegations are based on the antitrust” duty to deal “theory, she wrote.
The plaintiffs have until June 14 to amend their lawsuit, according to the decision, and Google’s lawyers and plaintiffs did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while in other cases Google faces allegations about its dominance of search work and mobile device software. It can take years to make initial decisions on these issues.