Justice Department Files Landmark Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

October 20, 2020 by Dan McCue
A Google building at their campus in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department on Monday accused Google in an antitrust lawsuit of maintaining an illegal monopoly over online search and search advertising.

The filing of the lawsuit in the D.C. federal court came just two weeks after Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee released a massive report on the nation’s largest tech companies, and analysis that singled Google out for having a monopoly on online search and the ads that pop up whenever a user enters a search query.

“A significant number of entities — spanning major public corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs — depend on Google for traffic, and no alternate search engine serves as a substitute,” the report said.

In a 64-page complaint, the Justice Department accused Google, a unit of Alphabet, of using its business contracts as a means for blocking out competition.

“Two decades ago, Google became the darling of Silicon Valley as a scrappy start-up with an innovative way to search the emerging internet. That Google is long gone,” the complaint says. “The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet, and one of the wealthiest companies on the planet.”

The government accuses Google of locking out competition in search by obtaining several exclusive business contracts and agreements.

Google’s deals with Apple, mobile carriers and other handset makers to place its search engine as the default option for consumers accounted for most of its dominant market share in search, the complaint says, estimating Google’s market share now stands at around 80%.

“For many years,” the suit says, “Google has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising and general search text advertising — the cornerstones of its empire.”

Google responded to word of the lawsuit by saying it will accomplish “nothing to help consumers.”

“To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use,” it said.

Scores of states and jurisdictions have conducted parallel investigations and are expected to bring separate complaints against the company’s grip on technology for online advertising.

On Tuesday, one of them, Texas, also announced it is suing Google for engaging in anticompetitive and exclusionary practices that eliminate competition for internet searches and search advertising.

“Google’s anticompetitive business strategies have disrupted the competitive process, reduced consumer choice, and stifled innovation,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement.

“The violations set forth in the complaint show that Google no longer resembles the innovative startup it was 20 years ago. Our action today is intended to restore competition and allow rivals and next generation search engines to challenge Google so that the marketplace, not a monopolist, will decide how search services and search ads are offered,” he added.

Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and South Carolina are also suing Google, saying the company’s “illegal conduct” has allowed it to dominate the search industry by requiring exclusivity from business partners and avoiding competition on the merits while shielding itself from competitors who might threaten its market share.

Litigation

Judge: DHS Head Didn't Have Authority to Suspend DACA
Immigration
Judge: DHS Head Didn't Have Authority to Suspend DACA

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge in New York ruled Saturday that Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf assumed his position unlawfully, a determination that invalidated Wolf's suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields young people from deportation. “DHS... Read More

Michigan Officials Debunk Trump Dead Voter Claim
State News
Michigan Officials Debunk Trump Dead Voter Claim

DETROIT — President Donald Trump's campaign filed a second lawsuit in Michigan on Tuesday seeking to stop the state's canvassing and certification of ballots, but the state's chief elections official and attorney general defended the election results. The Trump campaign filed the case in federal court, where the campaign is alleging... Read More

Trump's Challenge to the 2020 Vote: A State-By-State Guide
Litigation
Trump's Challenge to the 2020 Vote: A State-By-State Guide

President Donald Trump's challenge to the 2020 election results runs through six battleground states, five of which he won in 2016. This time around, Democrat Joe Biden has five-digit vote leads in all six states with some counting continuing, including three where he leads by more than 35,000 votes in... Read More

Republican AGs File Amicus Brief in Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballot Case
2020 Elections
Republican AGs File Amicus Brief in Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballot Case
November 10, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON -- Republican Attorneys General from 10 states have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the latest legal action in the case to contend the counting of certain mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. In the brief, the AGs argue the United States Supreme Court... Read More

Trump Launches a Legal Barrage in An Effort to Block a Biden Victory
Litigation
Trump Launches a Legal Barrage in An Effort to Block a Biden Victory

WASHINGTON — Facing a fast-shrinking path to a second term, President Donald Trump baselessly accused his opponents of fraud Wednesday as he launched an aggressive legal effort to reverse or stop vote counts in four battleground states that could clinch the race for Joe Biden. Filing four lawsuits and joining... Read More

With Election Results Unsettled, GOP Mobilizes Vast Network of Lawyers
Litigation
With Election Results Unsettled, GOP Mobilizes Vast Network of Lawyers

WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump promised to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, Republicans activated a massive network of attorneys in battleground states crucial to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, hoping to thwart the counting of thousands of early and absentee ballots. Republican National Committee and Trump campaign... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top