The US Department of Justice filed a landmark lawsuit against Google.
The DOJ accuses Google of illegally holding monopolies in search and search advertising.
11 state attorneys general have joined at the DOJ as plaintiffs in the case.
In the complaint, Google is accused of violating antitrust laws by engaging in anti competitive practices to preserve monopolies in search.
And search advertising.
The DOJ says that Google unlawfully maintained those monopolies by entering into exclusive agreements that forbid pre installation of any competing search service, entering into long term agreements with Apple that required Google to be the default general search engine on Safari and other Apple search tools.
And generally using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices and browsers.
Google responded by 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.
The company went on to mention that its agreements with Apple and other device makers and carriers Are no different from the agreements that many other companies have traditionally used to distribute software.
Google explains how to change the default search engine on Safari, and how to download a search engine on Android.
Google also mentions that it is trivially easy to change your search engine in its browser Chrome.
The company says this is not the dial of 1990s When changing services was slow and difficult today, you can download apps or change default settings in a matter of seconds.
So what’s Google’s position in the industry?
Well, Google processes around 90% of all All online searches that happen in the world.
That in turn is the foundation of Google’s massive advertising business.
Google makes about $160 billion in annual sales and advertising.
Makes up around 85% of that.
Google has a complex system that connects sellers and buyers of ads.
Google is no stranger to controversy.
The company has been accused of hurting the competition by prioritizing its own products over rivals.
Google also caught a lot of flack for scraping content from publishers.
And putting that info right on the search results page.
That could take away traffic that could be sent from Google To that publisher, then there’s Android the operating system on over 70% of the world’s smartphones.
Google has been accused of using its dominance to make partners bundle Google Apps, like maps and search.
Google has run into antitrust issues outside the US as well.
Last March, the European Commission hit Google with a $1.7 billion fine for abusive online ad practices.
The EC said Google exploited its dominance by restricting its rivals from placing their search ads on third party websites.
In 2018, the EU’s executive arm fined Google a record $5 billion For unfair business practices around Android, the investigation focused on Google’s deals with phone manufacturers, requiring them to preload specific Google apps and services on to Android phones.
Google has a dedicated landing page for its stance on competition.
The blog post is titled Google’s free products help people and small businesses.
Across America, there’s a section where Google goes into all the competition it has when it comes to searching for information.
Google Sites, Twitter, Whatsapp, Voice Assistance, and Amazon as competitors.
The company also links out to a Federal Trade Commission statement from 2013, where the FTC explains why it closed its investigation of alleged anti competitive conduct.
By Google, in this case, the FTC was looking into whether Google was putting its products in search results, and selectively demoting competitors.
The FTC said that it concluded that Google’s display of its own content in search results could plausibly be viewed as an improvement In the overall quality of Google’s search product, this DOJ case against Google is one of the most high profile cases the US has brought against a tech company since the 1990s when the DOJ accused Microsoft of a monopoly In the PC software market that got settled in 2001.
This new case against Google could take years to come to a conclusion.
Should the company lose it might have to change the way it does business.
If Google wins, it might make the DOJ pause on coming after other tech companies.
We’ll have to wait and see is accurate and I’ll see you online