DoJ sues Google: Showdown with ‘gatekeeper to the internet’ over claims it uses its power unfairly to preserve a monopoly and shut out any search engine competitors
- The DoJ is preparing to file a lawsuit on Tuesday that accuses Google of shutting out competitors unfairly
- Because Google is the preferred advertising platform among businesses, it makes billions in ad revenue
- Google controls 90 percent of the world’s searches
- It then uses that money to boost its presence on smartphones, making deals with Apple and Android to ensure it is the pre-installed search engine
- The DoJ will allege in its lawsuit that that practice is unfair
- Google, Facebook and Twitter have all come under increased scrutiny under Trump’s administration
- They have most recently been accused of using their powers to promote left-wing political agendas
- The news boosted shares of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, as analysts predicted breaking the company up would bring value out of it
The Department of Justice on Tuesday will file an anti-trust lawsuit against Google, claiming it uses its unprecedented power unfairly to preserve its ‘monopoly’ over the internet.
Senior justice officials cited by The Wall Street Journal say the complaint will allege that Google plays favorites with businesses, shutting out any possible competitors, and also uses the billions it makes in ad revenue to boost its own presence on Apple an Android devices by ensuring they become the go-to search engine on smartphones.
They will argue that Google makes it impossible for any competing search engines to have a sizeable share of the market because a) advertisers go to them and no one else to make their market their products and b) that gives Google an unfair advantage in dominating the search engine market on smartphones.
Google has not responded to the rumored lawsuit. It is the result of a 16-month investigation by the Justice Department.
On a call with reporters on Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said Google had had some ‘early success’ which ‘no one begrudges’ but that they’d grown into a ‘monopolist’ and advertising ‘behemoth’.
Google met with the DoJ before the lawsuit was filed but officials would not discuss whether or not they’d had settlement talks.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has insisted in the past that the company runs fairly. The lawsuit has not yet been filed
Part of the lawsuit complains that Google dominates the market on desktop, tablet and mobile
‘For years, there have been broad bipartisan concerns about business practices in our online economy.
‘Google is the gateway for the internet and a search advertising behemoth…it has maintained its monopoly power through exclusionary uses,’ he said.
It comes amid growing questions and concerns in the government over the power of Big Tech.
Shares of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, were up by more than 1 percent after the announcement. Analysts were quick to predict that breaking it up could extract more value from the company.
Deputy AG Jeffrey A. Rosen on Tuesday told reporters Google had ‘unlawfully maintained a monopoly’
Facebook has come under similar scrutiny in recent years for running a monopoly on how people communicate, through Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp – all of which Mark Zuckerberg owns.
Facebook, Twitter and Google – all notoriously run by left-leaning businessmen and predominantly out of California – have also been accused of using their power to exert political bias over the billions of people who use them.
Google has long been accused or favoring left-wing media in Google News. Its CEO, Sundar Pichai, has claimed repeatedly that an algorithm determines what is shown and nothing else.
Last week, Facebook and Twitter were accused of election interference by blocking an unflattering article about Joe Biden and his dealings with Ukraine.
Facebook claimed it wanted its fact checkers to vet the story, without explanation, and Twitter said it violated privacy laws.
The lawsuit is the result of a years-long investigation into Google.
Not only does it occupy the search engine space but Alphabet, its parent company, also owns YouTube, which has dominated online video platforms for years.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen is expected to give more information on the lawsuit on Tuesday morning.