On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. It alleges that Google has a monopoly in search engines, bolstered by cutting off its rivals from major distribution channels. In addition to the DOJ, eleven Republican state attorneys have joined as plaintiffs in the case.
According to CNBC, the suit is being lodged under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. While Google is an omnipresent part of daily life, the specifics of this lawsuit address what arguably built the company in the first place: the search engine. The lawsuit alleges that Google has unlawfully built and maintained its monopolies for general search sevices, search advertising, and general search text advertising by tying up distribution channels for online searches. Among the DOJ's claims is that Google holds 88 percent of the U.S. search market and 94 percent of mobile searches. This comes after a lengthy probe that began back in 2019.
Google is vehemently denying the lawsuit's allegations and addressed it on their website:
Google Search has put the world’s information at the fingertips of over a billion people. Our engineers work to offer the best search engine possible, constantly improving and fine-tuning it. We think that's why a wide cross-section of Americans value and often love our free products.
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.
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.
No word on when the DOJ would take Google to trial. This news comes nearly 18 months after Google was fined €1.49 billion by the European Union for similar charges regarding online searches and illegal restrictions on third-party websites.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Department of Justice sues Google in antitrust lawsuit