Sen. Lee Announces Antitrust Subcommittee Hearing on Online Advertising Market

July 27, 2020

WASHINGTON - Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy & Consumer Rights Chairman Mike Lee (R-UT) announced a hearing will be held at 2pm on September 15, 2020, titled, “Stacking the Tech: Has Google Harmed Competition in Online Advertising?”

Google is the dominant player in online advertising, a business that accounts for around 85% of its revenues and which allows it to monetize the data it collects through the products it offers for free. Recent consumer complaints and investigations by law enforcement have raised questions about whether Google has acquired or maintained its market power in online advertising in violation of the antitrust laws. News reports indicate this may also be the centerpiece of a forthcoming antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice. This hearing will examine these allegations and provide a forum to assess the most important antitrust investigation of the 21st century.

“Like many Americans across the political spectrum, I have been concerned by the exercise of market power held by Google and other tech giants,” said Sen. Lee. “This hearing will be an opportunity to dig deeper into those concerns, building off of earlier Antitrust subcommittee hearings. It will hopefully reaffirm the wisdom of focusing on better enforcement rather than the radical transformation of the antitrust laws demanded by the extreme left.”

"Google is a force online, dominating internet search and technology services that deliver targeted ads to consumers. For years, we have heard complaints that Google has used multiple acquisitions and its unmatched advantage in consumer targeting to undermine rivals and limit competition. As the Justice Department and several state enforcers investigate Google’s conduct in digital advertising markets, it is critical that the Antitrust Subcommittee focus on the lack of competition in these online markets and the impact on consumers,” Klobuchar said.