The U.S. Department of Justice to file on Tuesday its lawsuit against Alphabet, Inc.’s Google due to search monopoly allegations.
After a year-long investigation, tech giant Google will be sued for its wrongfully exercised digital dominance. The U.S. Justice Department has finally filed its antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that it is “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States.”
DoJ’s lawsuit cites Section 2 of the Sherman Act and aims to hold Google accountable through a cash penalty, a divestment, business practices changes, or all of these.
“Absent a court order, Google will continue executing its anti-competitive strategy, crippling the competitive process, reducing consumer choice, and stifling innovation. For the sake of American consumers, advertisers, and all companies now reliant on the internet economy; the time has come to stop Google’s anti-competitive conduct and restore competition.”U.S. Department of Justice
The DoJ signed the 64-page lawsuit together with all-Republican attorneys general from 11 different states, including Texas and Indiana. Other states haven’t signed but are thinking of filing their lawsuits against Google.
According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit could be the start of a legal war between Washington and Silicon Valley that could result in detrimental consequences for the tech industry. The lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C. federal court, is the most aggressive U.S. federal lawsuit made against a dominant firm in the U.S. tech sector, the Wall Street Journal says.
“Google achieved some success in its early years, and no one begrudges that. If the government does not enforce its antitrust laws to enable competition, we could lose the next wave of innovation. If that happens, Americans may never get to see the next Google.”Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen
The U.S. Justice Department also probed Google for anti-competitive practices in 2012. However, the case was scrapped due to case uncertainties. The shares of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has reached over $1 trillion since.
“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. Like countless other businesses, we pay to promote our services, just like a cereal brand might pay a supermarket to stock its products at the end of a row or on a shelf at eye level.”Ken Walker, Google’s chief legal officer
According to Walker, if the lawsuit becomes successful, consumers will suffer from higher prices.
A joint public statement from different states, including Nebraska and New York, said that they are still assessing Google’s other business practices and might sign the federal lawsuit later.
“This is a historic time for both federal and state antitrust authorities, as we work to protect competition and innovation in our technology markets. We plan to conclude parts of our investigation of Google in the coming weeks. If we decide to file a complaint, we would file a motion to consolidate our case with the DOJ’s. We would then litigate the consolidated case cooperatively, much as we did in the Microsoft case.”Joint public statement