On Monday, video streaming platform Rumble announced it is suing YouTube parent company Alphabet for over a billion dollars in damages.

The suit claims that “Google exploits significant conflicts of interest that stem from its multiple roles in this electronically traded marketplace,” and is therefore able “to pocket a supra-competitive portion of every advertising dollar that passes through the Ad Tech markets it controls, ad-revenue that rightly should have passed through to publishers like Rumble and its content creators.” Rumble added to the criticism that Alphabet was acting as a monopoly, referencing established antitrust precedence.

This will be the second lawsuit Rumble has carried out against Google in a handful of years, with the first being the 2021 lawsuit over Alphabet’s self-preference in search results. The earlier lawsuit also confronted Alphabet for its relationship with Android and preloaded bundles of their apps on Android devices.

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A little over a year ago, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and eight other states joined in a lawsuit alleging Sherman antitrust violations. The complaint alleges, “competition in the ad tech space is broken, for reasons that were neither accidental nor inevitable. One industry behemoth, Google, has corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide swath of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers, and brokers, to facilitate digital advertising.”

The European Union (EU) fined Google €1.49 billion for “abusive practices in online advertising” in 2019.

Rumble, headquartered in Longboat Key, Florida, was founded in 2013 with the aim to be a free speech alternative to YouTube. It has grown as creators, who have felt they have been unjustly persecuted by YouTube’s moderation policies, joined its competitor’s platform. Rumble stock currently gives them just under a $2 billion dollar market value. While YouTube makes just over 10 percent of Alphabet revenue, Alphabet currently trades at a $2.1 trillion market cap.

Business leaders may note that the prospects of a much smaller company legally targeting a larger competitor are usually not great. However, with the DOJ and EU having made similar legal claims, their likelihood of winning the suit may be stronger.

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