Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google
On Tuesday morning the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.’s Google, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The lawsuit accuses Google of engaging in monopolistic, anticompetitive practices to tighten their stranglehold on the search and search advertising market.
In the words of the WSJ report, the company is “maintaining its status as gatekeeper to the internet through an unlawful web of exclusionary and interlocking business agreements that shut out competitors.” Google also allegedly uses billions of dollars in ad revenue to pay smartphone manufacturers, carriers, and browsers, so that they “maintain Google as their preset, default search engine.”
Many have been eagerly awaiting this move for some time. Big League Politics published an article five months ago on the Justice Department’s intention to file an antitrust suit against the tech giant:
Despite the Wuhan virus pandemic making work complicated for the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr has allocated significant resources into the Google investigation and continues to place it as a top priority. Barr told The Wall Street Journal in March that he wanted the Justice Department to make a final decision this summer. “I’m hoping that we bring it to fruition early summer,” Barr said during the time. “And by fruition I mean, decision time.”
Paxton said the pandemic was not preventing his office from pursuing further action. “We’ve issued [civil subpoenas] to Google and impacted third parties. We hope to have the investigation wrapped up by fall,” Paxton declared in a statement. “If we determine that filing is merited we will go to court soon after that.”
Google responded to the lawsuit saying, “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. We will have a fuller statement this morning.”
It’s about time we see one of these Big Tech behemoths get challenged in court. Hopefully this represents a first step in the government going after Silicon Valley in general.