📨 The long-awaited Google lawsuit has arrived
|emily oleary||Oct 21, 2020|
After months of speculation, hearings in Washington DC and congressional reports, it’s actually happening. The Department of Justice has sued Google.
The lawsuit says the company illegally controlled search and search advertising: It accuses Google of using business deals to force its search engine on the devices of other manufacturers and to prevent other companies from putting their products on Android.
Google has an estimated 90% market share of search in the U.S.: The DOJ compared Google to Microsoft (the last major tech company targeted by the DOJ, a generation ago). Microsoft made its internet browser the default on Windows systems.
The DOJ seeks to open up innovation: In a press conference, a DOJ spokesperson said, “If the government does not enforce the antitrust laws to enable competition, we could lose the next wave of innovation. If that happens, Americans may never get to see the next Google.”
How the DOJ claims a legal basis for the lawsuit
The DOJ says three groups have been harmed by Google.
The consumers who must deal with Google’s privacy practices.
The tech companies that are unable to compete on a level playing field.
The advertisers who have to pay the rates set by Google or risk not reaching customers.
Google’s rebuttal was succinct. A spokesperson claimed Google has so many users because people choose to use it, not because they can’t find alternatives. The federal DOJ lawsuit is expected to take years to resolve and will likely be accompanied by state lawsuits.