After a 14-month investigation, the US government filed a landmark lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, arguing that the search giant had used unfair practices to maintain its monopoly on search and search advertising.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its lawsuit against Google in federal court, accusing Google of using money it earns from its dominant position to pay other companies in order to maintain its lead and foreclose competitors. Google pays Apple billions each year as the default browser for Safari. Search is preinstalled on devices with the Google Android operating system.
The announcement reveals the largest antitrust lawsuit against a technology company since Microsoft's antitrust proceedings in 1998. The Justice Department lawsuit also poses a potential existential threat to Google's business if Google's search engine is abandoned – to the roughly $ 21 billion Dollars or more than half of his total income – from his other businesses.
The outcome of the case will change the interpretation of antitrust law. Regulators have long ignored market share dominance for free services like Google, which are believed to benefit consumers.
The lawsuit is filed amid strong political tension between major technology companies and the US government. Attorney General William Barr reportedly is speeding up the time of the lawsuit so that it can be filed before the November presidential election.
President Trump, as well as many Republican and Democratic lawmakers, have argued with increasing urgency that big tech companies like Google have amassed far too much market power. They say companies are stifling competition and leaving consumers no choice but to use their services when they go online.
Trump and some Republicans, however, have added another motivation for pursuing antitrust law, with the president targeting tech companies that allegedly and unproven “anti-conservative bias” on their platforms. Democrats, on the other hand, have focused on traditional antitrust issues like market power – along with the spread of hate speech and misinformation on these platforms.
In addition to search, Google dominates the market for a number of products including online advertising, smartphone operating systems and web browsers. Google search accounts for more than 90 percent of the search market share and around 80 percent of smartphone shipments worldwide. Critics say it uses this dominance in everyone to strengthen its other business areas.
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