Justice Department Files Landmark Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google
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.
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Monday sought to block the release of documents related to the Jan.... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump on Monday sought to block the release of documents related to the Jan. 6 insurrection to the congressional committee investigating the attack, challenging the decision of President Joe Biden. In a federal lawsuit, Trump said the committee request was... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A high-ranking Defense Department official sued in federal court in Washington, D.C. this week to determine why her... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A high-ranking Defense Department official sued in federal court in Washington, D.C. this week to determine why her security clearance still is suspended after five months. The DOD has accused Katie Arrington of “unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” says her lawsuit filed in U.S.... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Guns are again playing a big role in the courts and politics of Washington, D.C. after a champion... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Guns are again playing a big role in the courts and politics of Washington, D.C. after a champion of Second Amendment rights filed a new federal lawsuit to challenge a local law that seeks to restrict some firearms. This time, Dick A. Heller is... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Three American University students are appealing a ruling that dismissed their lawsuit demanding tuition refunds after the COVID-19... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Three American University students are appealing a ruling that dismissed their lawsuit demanding tuition refunds after the COVID-19 pandemic compelled a transition to online learning. They argue the university breached a contract and received unjust enrichment after they paid tens of thousands of dollars... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A federal judge’s ruling last week cast the District of Columbia back into disputes over gun rights at... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A federal judge’s ruling last week cast the District of Columbia back into disputes over gun rights at a time the murder rate is renewing calls for legislative reform. The judge ruled the District of Columbia must compensate six people who were arrested for... Read More
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge is hearing arguments Friday over whether Texas can leave in place the most... Read More
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge is hearing arguments Friday over whether Texas can leave in place the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S., which since September has banned most abortions and sent women racing to get care beyond the borders of the nation's... Read More