This morning, the United States Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google.
DOJ deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen confirmed the news in a press conference held this morning, noting Google has used anticompetitive practices to maintain their monopoly position as the main outlet for web searching and advertising online. The DOJ also noted Google’s expansive data mining, video distribution, and information services conglomerate.
The long-anticipated case was filed in a Washington D.C. federal court, making this the first aggressive legal challenge to a tech company in over two decades. Google has faced numerous accusations and cases of clear bias against both competitors and political operatives, and with their command of the majority of web searching, they can gatekeep all they want.
Furthermore, the DOJ has alleged that Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., is upholding its position as a gatekeeper of web searching and more, and that their unlawful practices have excluded and shut down competitors. They allege that Google uses their billions of revenue from advertisements to pay phone manufacturers, carriers, and web browsers to keep Google as their default search engine.
Google therefore has pole position as the defacto search engine on hundreds of millions of American devices, providing little or no opportunity for competitors. Google’s popular Android phone operating system also cannot have Google’s search engine deleted, nor replaced by a competitor, under revenue-sharing arrangements.
Lastly, the lawsuit alleges that Google’s search behemoth accounts for roughly 80% of all search queries in the United States. The DOJ notes because of this, competitors can’t have a chance to get their own search queries and build something to have any chance of competing, leaving consumers with less choices and advertisers with less competitive rates.
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