The Justice Department is filing an antitrust lawsuit against Google today, alleging that the company engaged in illegal anticompetitive practices to maintain its dominance in web search and search advertising. The government says Google paid mobile manufacturers and carriers to set Google as a default search engine. The company does not allow its browser Chrome to be deleted from Android devices.
- The investigation for this lawsuit started in June 2019. A prior antitrust investigation into Google, conducted by the FTC, ended in 2013 without any action after the company said it made some voluntary changes to its ad and patent policies.
- Though the current lawsuit is likely not to specify any remedies, a loss for Google could result in changes, including structural changes that create opportunities for competitors. WSJ noted that the company's victory could mean a massive blow to the government's overall scrutiny against Big Tech.
- On Oct. 6, a House Judiciary subcommittee released its findings after a 16-month investigation into Big Tech's business practices. It noted that Google overwhelmingly dominates the online search market by capturing 87% of U.S. search and 92% of global search queries. Google suggested in its response post that antitrust law should be used to protect consumers, not aid Google's commercial rivals.
- EU regulators have fined Google around $9b in three antitrust cases.