Here we go.
“The Justice Department filed a long-expected antitrust lawsuit alleging that Google uses anticompetitive tactics to preserve a monopoly for its flagship search engine and related advertising business, the most aggressive U.S. legal challenge to a company’s dominance in the tech sector in more than two decades,” write Brent Kendall and Rob Copeland in an article explaining the JD’s suit.
Filed this week in federal court in Washington, D.C. the suit alleges that Alphabet Inc., the holding company that owns Google, uses unlawful exclusionary tactics and “interlocking business agreements” to maintain its dominant status in the search industry.
According to Richard Nieva in CNet, “Tuesday’s suit against Google marks the highest-profile case the US has brought against a tech company since the 1990s, when the Justice Department and a collection of states accused Microsoft of a monopoly in the PC software market. The two sides settled in 2001.”
While the official word from Google’s Kent Walker, SVP of global affairs remains blithe (“people use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to”) the Justice Department begs to differ.
Nieva notes the lawsuit “heavily criticizes Google’s business contracts with outside partners. The complaint says the tech giant ‘locks up’ search distribution on Android, which powers almost nine out of every 10 smartphones shipped globally.”
While the Department of Justice officially remains nonpartisan, the issue is turning into a political hot potato, with some saying the Trump administration wants to be seen as taking on big tech before the election, while others say their motivation for pursuing this now is solely the best interest of consumers.
Regardless, this lawsuit is undoubtedly a long time coming … and the other three companies named in the Justice Department’s report — Amazon, Apple and Facebook — are no doubt waiting for the next lawsuit to drop in their direction.