Last week, thousands of Google employees were hit with layoffs. The process was largely unceremonious, with many of the impacted workers yanked from internal Google systems with no prior warning, per CNBC. According to Digiday, Google Ads staffers have feared layoffs since November 2022. The same report cited a correlation between declining ad revenue for the tech giant and its recent layoffs. And yet, Google advertisements are a $100-billion-plus industry. Statista data shows that the company’s ad revenue in 2021 was just shy of $210 billion, a significant spike from the already-unfathomable profits of $146.92 billion in 2020.
In a press release from the Department of Justice today, the U.S. said that Google has been “neutralizing or eliminating ad tech competitors” for 15 years, whether that be through acquisitions or making the use of competing products impossible. “Today’s complaint alleges that Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful conduct to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in the release. “No matter the industry and no matter the company, the Justice Department will vigorously enforce our antitrust laws to protect consumers, safeguard competition, and ensure economic fairness and opportunity for all.”