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Google loses bid to end US antitrust lawsuit over digital advertising

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A Google sign is pictured on a Google building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, USA, October 20, 2020. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File photo)
By Jody Godoy | REUTERS

Alphabet’s Google will go to trial over U.S. antitrust enforcers’ claims that the Internet search engine illegally dominates the online advertising technology market, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia denied Google’s motion during a hearing, court records show.

Google had argued for a win without a trial, saying antitrust laws do not stop companies from dealing with rivals and that regulators had not accurately defined the ad tech market.

The court documents did not specify what reasons the judge had given at the hearing. Motions like the one Google filed are granted only if a judge determines there is no factual dispute that should go to trial.

Brinkema will preside over the trial in the case on September 9.

“We look forward to making things right,” a Google spokesperson said.

A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment.

The Justice Department and a coalition of states sued the tech giant last year, claiming it unlawfully monopolized digital advertising and overcharged users. The lawsuit primarily aims to break up Google’s digital advertising business to allow for more competition.

Regulators convinced Brinkema on Friday to prevent a former FBI agent who acted as a cybersecurity consultant for Google from testifying as an expert at the trial.

Google scored a victory in the case last week when Brinkema allowed the trial to proceed without a jury after the company settled claims that his conduct harmed the US government.

Editor’s Note: Reporting by Jody Godoy in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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