The Department of Justice and eleven state Attorneys General filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. The participating states Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas.
According to the DOJ release A.G. Barr believes:
“Today, millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google — the gatekeeper of the Internet — for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the Department of Justice and for the American people. Since my confirmation, I have prioritized the Department’s review of online market-leading platforms to ensure that our technology industries remain competitive. This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs beholden to an unlawful monopolist.”
Deputy A.G. Jeff Rosen added:
“As with its historic antitrust actions against AT&T in 1974 and Microsoft in 1998, the Department is again enforcing the Sherman Act to restore the role of competition and open the door to the next wave of innovation—this time in vital digital markets.”
Interestingly the announcement of the antitrust suit was made the same day that Project Veritas released a video of a senior manager at Google admitting they are interfering in the election in favor of Democrat Joe Biden. That Google is like playing selective God
The DOJ claims that “as one of the wealthiest companies on the planet with a market value of $1 trillion, Google is the monopoly gatekeeper to the internet for billions of users and countless advertisers worldwide. For years, Google has accounted for almost 90 percent of all search queries in the United States and has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in search and search advertising.”
True that, and they are not consistent. As far as my experience goes, there was a time when if I had Antisemitism in the title of a post, my Google ads would disappear. But if I changed the word to Jew-Hatred, all was well. After months of complaining that was fixed.
The DOJ complaint accuses Google of entering into “a series of exclusionary agreements that collectively lock up the primary avenues through which users access search engines, and thus the internet, by requiring that Google be set as the preset default general search engine on billions of mobile devices and computers worldwide and, in many cases, prohibiting preinstallation of a competitor”
Specifically, “the Complaint alleges that Google has unlawfully maintained monopolies in search and search advertising by:
- Entering into exclusivity agreements that forbid preinstallation of any competing search service.
- Entering into tying and other arrangements that force preinstallation of its search applications in prime locations on mobile devices and make them undeletable, regardless of consumer preference.
- Entering into long-term agreements with Apple that require Google to be the default – and de facto exclusive – general search engine on Apple’s popular Safari browser and other Apple search tools.
- Generally using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers, and other search access points, creating a continuous and self-reinforcing cycle of monopolization.”
These and other anticompetitive practices harm competition and consumers, reducing the ability of innovative new companies to develop, compete, and discipline Google’s behavior.
The DOJ has filed the suit to restore competition to the economy just as they did with Standard Oil, AT&T, and Microsoft cases. Microsoft was settled out of court after a judge ruled it should be broken up.
“The Complaint alleges that Google’s anticompetitive practices have had harmful effects on competition and consumers. Google has foreclosed any meaningful search competitor from gaining vital distribution and scale, eliminating competition for a majority of search queries in the United States. By restricting competition in search, Google’s conduct has harmed consumers by reducing the quality of search (including on dimensions such as privacy, data protection, and use of consumer data), lessening choice in search, and impeding innovation. By suppressing competition in advertising, Google has the power to charge advertisers more than it could in a competitive market and to reduce the quality of the services it provides them. Through filing the lawsuit, the Department seeks to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition for American consumers, advertisers, and all companies now reliant on the internet economy.”
Google’s owner, Alphabet, also owns YouTube, Nest, and Waze.
The way to go after these biased big tech companies is antitrust. Other solutions such as removing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act may end up causing more censorship rather than less.
Below is the lawsuit document filed by the Department of Justice:
Cross-posted with The Lid
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