The Justice Department is finally taking action against one of the most powerful tech giants in the country—alleging in a new lawsuit that Google is guilty of violating federal antitrust laws.
The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Google—a landmark move in an antitrust investigation that’s been going on for more than a year, involving the most powerful players in the tech industry. This lawsuit also marks the government’s most significant act to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft 20 years ago.
The Justice Department is finally taking action against one of the most powerful tech giants in the country—alleging in a new lawsuit that Google is guilty of violating federal antitrust laws. The lawsuit accuses Google of using exclusionary agreements to stamp out its rivals — and paying billions of dollars to distributors to secure default status over competing search providers.
They say Google has gone beyond just trying to be the best on the internet, and has engaged in illegal practices to ensure that they stay at the top, using an aggressive campaign to undermine anyone they view as a significant threat. The DOJ was joined by Republican attorneys general from 11 states, including Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas. And more are expected to join from both sides of the aisle.
According to the lawsuit, the DOJ is taking action now because they see that “American consumers are forced to accept Google’s policies, privacy practices, and use of personal data,” all while “new companies with innovative business models cannot emerge from Google’s long shadow.” And just to give you an idea of the type of power the internet search engine has—Google accounts for 90% of GLOBAL online searches!
The Government’s anti-trust investigation also looked at Facebook, Apple and Amazon—so we could see even more action taken against the tech industry in the coming months.
Google has repeatedly defended its actions and argued that it is engaging in what it calls “robust and fair competition.” In a statement released last year in response to the DOJ, Google’s Senior Vice President of Global Affairs said the company has “answered many questions on these issues over many years, in the United States as well as overseas,” across many aspects of their business. So, this is nothing new for them.
As a reminder, Google was previously investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over suspected anti-trust violations. But that investigation was suddenly called off in 2013, sparking accusations that Google had gotten a little too close to the Obama Administration. So, now it remains to be seen if the government’s case against the tech giant will stick this time around.