NATIONAL NEWS

Judge says trial is required to decide government’s antitrust case over Google’s advertising tech

Jun 14, 2024, 9:51 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday said the government’s antitrust case against Google over its advertising technology will go to trial in September, rejecting both sides’ request to rule in their favor as a matter of law.

The Justice Department and Google had been expected to make their arguments seeking summary judgment in the lawsuit next week. But at a hearing Friday in federal court in Alexandria on unrelated issues, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema told both sides that it’s clear the case has to go trial.

A judge grants summary judgment only when the facts are not in dispute and a decision can be rendered as a matter of law. But Brinkema said it’s clear that numerous facts are disputed.

Her ruling was not unexpected.

The lawsuit alleges that Google violated federal antitrust laws by building a monopoly on the technology that powers online advertising.

The Justice Department had initially sought a jury trial to decide the case, but last week Brinkema canceled the jury trial and replaced it with a bench trial, meaning she will decide whether Google has broken the law.

Google is awaiting a verdict from another judge in the District of Columbia over whether its popular search engine constitutes an illegal monopoly.

The trial is set for Sept. 9.

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