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: Google in talks with regulators to head off potential antitrust lawsuit: report

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is in talks with regulators to stave off an imminent U.S. antitrust lawsuit targeting its dominant ad-tech business., the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The search-engine giant
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has offered a few concessions, including creating a separate company under the Alphabet umbrella for parts of its business that auction and place ads on websites and apps, according to the Journal.

“We have been engaging constructively with regulators to address their concerns,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to MarketWatch.

“As we’ve said before, we have no plans to sell or exit this business, and we’re deeply committed to providing value to a wide array of publisher and advertiser partners in a highly competitive sector,” the Google spokesperson added. “Rigorous competition in ad technology has made online ads more relevant, reduced fees, and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”

The Justice Department declined comment.

Investigators at Justice have undertaken an exhaustive look into charges that Google abuses its role as both a broker and auctioneer of digital ads to land deals at the expense of competitors. The investigation could lead to a lawsuit this summer that Google’s ad-tech practices are anticompetitive, sources said.

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