U.S. Justice Department sues Google for holding an illegal monopoly over search

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The United States Department of Justice on Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet INC.’s Google for abusing its monopoly in search. The lawsuit is the most significant antitrust action against an American company in many decades.

The Justice Department filed the lawsuit against Google in Washington, according to court records. The complaint was joined by 11 Republican state attorneys general.

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Republicans have repeatedly claimed without evidence that Google is against Conservatives and tries to suppress Conservatives’ voices.

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The complaint is just the first phase of many other lawsuits on the way against Google and comes about 15 months after U.S. Attorney General William Barr opened an investigation of some of the largest technology companies.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is also preparing a complaint against Google over its behavior in the digital advertising market, where it controls much of the technology used by advertisers and publishers to buy and sell display ads across the internet.

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The last time a significant antitrust lawsuit was filed against an American company was in 1998 when the Justice Department filed one against Microsoft Corp.

Google, which began dominating online search 20 years ago with an algorithm that delivered better results, now controls 90 percent of the online search market in the United States. Its shares fell less that 1 percent in New York on Tuesday morning.

“Since then it has also relied on exclusive agreements and its own products, like its Android mobile operating system, to be the default search option for millions of users. That’s given it an insurmountable advantage over rivals, according to critics. While it’s not illegal to be a monopoly under U.S. law, it’s a violation for a dominant company to engage in exclusionary conduct to protect or strengthen its market power,” noted Bloomberg.

“Google’s search business generates most of the company’s revenue and has funded its expansion into email, online video, smartphone software, maps, cloud computing, autonomous vehicles and display advertising. The search engine influences the fates of thousands of businesses online, which depend on Google to get in front of users,” the publication added.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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