facebook linkedin twitter

Justice Department Files Landmark Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

October 20, 2020 by Dan McCue
Justice Department Files Landmark Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google
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.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Litigation

January 3, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Coaches Sue Washington Nationals After Defying Vaccination Mandate

WASHINGTON — Two coaches from the Washington Nationals baseball team are adding to the lawsuits spun off from mandates by... Read More

WASHINGTON — Two coaches from the Washington Nationals baseball team are adding to the lawsuits spun off from mandates by the federal government and private employers requiring employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The federal mandate announced by President Joe Biden last fall takes effect next... Read More

December 28, 2021
by Reece Nations
Coalition of Attorneys General File Amicus Brief Opposing Arizona Abortion Ban

PHOENIX — Attorneys General from 23 states signed on to an amicus brief that challenges an Arizona law prohibiting abortions... Read More

PHOENIX — Attorneys General from 23 states signed on to an amicus brief that challenges an Arizona law prohibiting abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities. The coalition contends in their brief that the preservation of women’s reproductive autonomy can and should occur while simultaneously dismissing discriminatory... Read More

Trump Sues NY Attorney General, Seeking to End Civil Probe

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump sued New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday, resorting to a familiar... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump sued New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday, resorting to a familiar but seldom successful strategy as he seeks to end a yearslong civil investigation into his business practices that he alleges is purely political. In the lawsuit, filed... Read More

December 16, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Judge Orders Hospital to Offer Unapproved Drug to COVID Patient

FAUQUIER COUNTY, Va. — A Virginia judge ruled last week that a hospital has no authority to block a family’s... Read More

FAUQUIER COUNTY, Va. — A Virginia judge ruled last week that a hospital has no authority to block a family’s choice to be treated for COVID-19 with the controversial drug ivermectin. The drug is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19. The... Read More

December 13, 2021
by Brock Blasdell
New York AG Adds to Civil and Criminal Lawsuits Against Former President Trump

NEW YORK — New York’s Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed former president Donald J. Trump to appear in a... Read More

NEW YORK — New York’s Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed former president Donald J. Trump to appear in a deposition next month to answer allegations regarding the Trump organization’s involvement in improperly valuing real estate assets. The request falls on top of a mountainous pile... Read More

December 10, 2021
by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Says Challenge to Texas Abortion Law Can Proceed

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that abortion rights activists can continue their challenge to Texas’ controversial "heartbeat”... Read More

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that abortion rights activists can continue their challenge to Texas’ controversial "heartbeat” abortion law, but only against some of the originally named defendants. To the disappointment of abortion rights advocates, however, the justice declined to reverse a Sept.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top