US govt files antitrust lawsuit against Google


These could lead to further lawsuits.

The parallels to the landmark antitrust case against Microsoft, more than two decades ago, are so striking that they're referenced explicitly in the complaint.

Google contends the popularity of those narrow search tools lowers its market share than when counting only Microsoft's Bing and other "general" search tools as competition.

"Google is the gateway to the internet and a search advertising behemoth", US Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen told reporters. "Microsoft preloads its Edge browser on Windows devices, where Bing is the default search engine".

When asked what action should be taken against Google, a Justice Department official said, "Nothing is off the table".

A longtime Big Tech critic, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, said the case would be "the most important antitrust suit in a generation", and welcomed the Justice Department move.

Wheeler argued that "we have reached the point in our digital trajectory where we need a new regulatory agency with digital DNA", adding that "if we're really serious about returning competition and consumer protect to the digital economy, it's simply not enough to look backward and redress a harm that has already occurred".

In a statement, Google svp of public affairs Kent Walker called the suit "deeply flawed" and stressed that the company pays for prime placement and that users who want to can change their search preferences.

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Investors seemed to shrug off news of the lawsuit.

The market value of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., is more than $1 trillion.

"If we decide to file a complaint", said James, "we would file a motion to consolidate our case with the DOJ's".

The decision to file the lawsuit just a few weeks before the USA presidential election has raised questions about whether it was simply a move by the Trump administration to prove its willingness to challenge the influence of the sector if it gains a second term.

President Trump has promised to hold Big Tech accountable, repeatedly accusing tech companies of being biased against conservatives, despite the notion not being supported by evidence.

Trump has often criticised Google, recycling unfounded claims by conservatives that the search giant is biased against conservatives and suppresses their viewpoints, interferes with USA elections and prefers working with the Chinese military over the Pentagon. "Especially in antitrust law". The report added that "Numerous market participants analogized Google to a gatekeeper that is extorting users for access to its critical distribution channel, even as its search page shows users less relevant results". In short, Google pays Apple billions to be the default search provider, in part, because Google knows the agreement increases the company's valuable scale; this simultaneously denies that scale to rivals. The company also owns the top video website, YouTube, and operates the Google Map system.

It states that "absent a court order, Google will continue executing its anticompetitive strategy, crippling the competitive process, reducing consumer choice, and stifling innovation".

Eleven Republican-led states joined the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. And a group of states is exploring a broader search case against Google. Before the purchase, Google didn't have a travel product; afterward, it owned the ITA search engine its rivals relied on, and it developed Google Flights, which keeps searches for travel deals on its own platform. The settlement came over the objections of some FTC staff attorneys. "And Google in particular has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means".