The DOJ Sues Google Over Anticompetitive Practices

Written by Lucas Murawsky (News Writer)

On October 20, 2020 the Department of Justice along with multiple other state attorneys, filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. This was to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets. To remedy the competitive harms, The DOJ is accusing Google of engaging in anti competitive practices, (which is an action conducted by one or more businesses to make it difficult or impossible for other companies to enter or succeed in their market. The market distortion resulting from anti-competitive practices can result in higher prices and poorer service.) 

“Nothing is off the table,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who warned that if DOJ did not file suit now, “we could lose the next wave of innovation” and that “Americans may never get to see the next Google.” “Dozens of states have been conducting a separate antitrust inquiry into Google for the past year. On Tuesday, several of them said they intend to wrap up that probe “in the coming weeks” and that if they file a lawsuit, it could be merged with the federal case.” CNN said in a post. 

Google supposedly illegally paid over 1 billion dollars to have their browser be the default browser when you buy a new phone, this included paying millions dollars to Apple and Android manufacturers including Samsung and T-mobile, and Verizon phones. 

If the lawsuit is successful, it could mean Google is forced to break up parts of its combination, including spinning off the Google Chrome business and its Pixel phone series into separate enterprises. “Those kinds of splitting off of assets to enable competitors to grow and challenge the dominant search provider, Google, are things you could imagine the government asking for,” said Gene Kimmelman, a former antitrust official at DOJ.

“Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives,” Google said in a blogpost. “This lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use.” Google noted out its competitors as Bing and Yahoo! Google also paid to be promoted in Apple search engine Safari.

In the lawsuit they noted that Google had a “scrappy startup.” In the past two decades Google had innovative ways to search the internet, without letting any other search engines grow, 

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