The US Justice Department has officially filed a law suit against the search giant Google on Tuesday alleging it for illegal monopolization of the search and ad markets which will make it one of the biggest anti-trust cases in the US History.
The Wall Street Journal in their report stated that the case is focused on the search and search-focused advertising rather than the company’s entire ad business as a whole.
“Countless advertisers must pay a toll to Google’s search advertising and general search text advertising monopolies,” the complaint reads, “American consumers are forced to accept Google’s policies, privacy practices, and use of personal data; and new companies with innovative business models cannot emerge from Google’s long shadow.”
“NEW COMPANIES WITH INNOVATIVE BUSINESS MODELS CANNOT EMERGE FROM GOOGLE’S LONG SHADOW”
Officials of the Justice Department had made known the scale and power of Google’s control over the search market during a call on Tuesday’s morning. “Google’s conduct is illegal under traditional antitrust principles and must be stopped…. Google owns or controls search distribution channels accounting for about 80 percent of general search queries in the United States,” said Ryan Shores, the Justice Department’s senior advisor for tech industries. “We’re asking the court to break Google’s grip on search distribution so that competition and innovation can take hold.”
The search engine giant which holds more than 80% of the entire global search market stated that its market share is its source of advantage over its competitors.
“Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed,” the company said in a statement. “People use Google because they choose to — not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives.”
The case would be one of the biggest if not the biggest in the US history which had been taken against a tech company. The Department of Justice further briefed AGs on the case at the end of September which was according to a report from the Washington Post.
Eleven different state attorneys general are expected to sign onto the case, per the Journal, but others are likely to file separate antitrust charges.
This isn’t the first time Google will be facing an antitrust legal tussle as the company had a rift with the government back in 2013 when the company changed its AdSense policies to resolve a Federal Trade Commission investigation without formal legal action. Another scenario was when the company faced fines from EU regulatory bodies requiring it to pay a hefty €1.5 billion over its AdSense policy, €4.3 billion over software bundling in Android, and €2.4 billion for manipulating shopping results in Google search.
The American tech company had also faced criticism from lawmakers back in July while facing the US Congress. The company was accused by Rep. David Cicilline of using uts privileged position to crush its competitors in other areas.
“It is Google’s business model that is the problem,” Cicilline said. “Our documents show that Google evolved from a turnstile to the rest of the web to a walled garden that increasingly keeps users within its sites.”
At the time, Google CEO Sundar Pichai defended the company’s actions as part of a broader commitment to serving users. “When I run the company, I’m really focused on giving users what they want,” Pichai said. “We conduct ourselves to the highest standard.”
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