The US Justice Antitrust department, on Tuesday, accused the search engine giant Google of illegally protecting monopoly over search engine and advertising. The lawsuit outlines all the tactics that Google uses to deny other search engines a chance to compete fairly in search.
According to a recent report by the New York Times, this is the government’s most significant challenge to a tech company’s market power in a generation, and it could reshape the way consumers use the internet.
The lawsuit was brought forth by the Republican Attorneys General of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas, claiming that Google has locked up deals in places with giant partners like Apple and throttling competition through exclusive business contracts and agreements.
The document reads,
Over the last ten years, internet searches on Mobile devices have grown rapidly, eclipsing searches on computers and making mobile devices the most important avenue for search distribution in the United States. For many years, 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.
Allegedly, Google pays billions of dollars to Apple, LG, Moto, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon to set Google to the default engine and specifically prohibit partners from doing business with alternative search services. The lawsuit might take years to complete, but from the looks of it, it could set off a cascade of other antitrust lawsuits from state attorney generals.
Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to — not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives. We will have a full statement this morning.
— Google Public Policy (@googlepubpolicy) October 20, 2020
Google is ready to give a full response to the lawsuit, but it has issued a statement that the claims made are particularly flawed.