Merely two weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives released a report accusing tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google of various anti-competitive practices, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and 11 states in the U.S. filed the first antitrust lawsuit against Google.
The complaint alleges that Google unlawfully maintained monopolies in the markets for general Internet search services and advertisement in the U.S. through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices. The alleged practices include paying billions of dollars each year to popular-device manufacturers, major U.S. wireless carriers, and browser developers to secure Google's default status for its general search engine and, in many cases, to specifically prohibit those stakeholders from dealing with Google's competitors. The result, as the complaint alleges, is the denial of vital distribution channels for other search engine competitors, diminishing their scale and product recognition by ensuring they have no real chance of challenging Google's dominance.
The complaint also alleges that Google shares its $40 billion annual advertising revenues with distributors in return for commitments to favor Google's search engine, thereby creating a strong disincentive for distributors to switch to Google's competitors.
The complaint accuses Google that as a result of its exclusionary agreements and anticompetitive conduct, Google in recent years attracted nearly 90 percent of all general-search-engine queries in the United States and almost 95 percent of queries on mobile devices.
Google publicly responded to the complaint by accusing the DOJ's lawsuit of being "deeply flawed". According to Google, "people use Google because they choose to, not because they're forced to, or because they can't find alternatives". Google also warned that the lawsuit will only lower the quality of search services offered to consumers.
CLICK HERE to read the DOJ's complaint against Google.
CLICK HERE to read Google's statement responding to the lawsuit.
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