The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Google that could completely change the tech industry.
On Tuesday, the DOJ filed a federal lawsuit against the search giant, charging Google with violating antitrust laws. The Justice Department is accusing the company of acting as a monopoly over search.
“Google has maintained its monopoly power through exclusionary practices that are harmful to competition,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who led the investigation into the company, in a statement.
The lawsuit claims that Google has illegally locked competing companies out of the marketplace through business deals and agreements. One example, highlighted by the New York Times, is a contract the search engine arranged with Apple. This specific deal allows Google to maintain its place as the default search engine on the Safari web browser on iOS devices like the iPhone.
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. We will have a full statement this morning.
— Google Public Policy (@googlepubpolicy) October 20, 2020
“Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed,” Google’s public policy team tweeted in a preliminary statement. “People use Google because they choose to — not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives.”
As the Washington Post points out, this all began as a broader probe into antitrust issues related to the big tech companies last summer. However, as complaints came in from news media outlets and reviews websites, the investigation quickly evolved into focusing on Google’s stature as the internet’s search engine behemoth.
The reactions from within the tech industry came swiftly after news of the lawsuit dropped.
“Today, when a mom does a search for a pediatrician on Google, instead of being matched with the best information from across the web, she is unwittingly steered to Google’s ‘house’ product which has objectively lower quality information,” said Yelp’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy Luther Lowe in a statement applauding the DOJ’s action. “This self-serving bias by Google happens literally billions of times per week in the United States. By systematically reducing the quality of its search results in order to entrench and extend its search and search advertising monopolies, Google is directly harming consumers.”
However, some in the sector have already defended Google from some of the claims made in the Justice Department’s lawsuit.
“At no point has Google forced people to use Chrome,” explained Luke Tayler, founder of the adtech company TrafficGuard, in an email statement. “It’s not pre-installed as Internet Explorer once was on Windows.”
“Google dominates search because it appears to have the best results, which explains why it has become a verb,” he continued.
The New York Times mentions that President Trump appointee Attorney General William P. Barr, who was appointed by Mr. Trump, took an “unusually active role” in the antitrust investigation into Google. There were hints of political pressure on the agency to bring a lawsuit prior to the U.S. presidential election in November. A total of 11 Republican attorneys general joined the DOJ complaint.
The federal lawsuit is separate from any similar lawsuits from the states. As reported last September, state attorneys general in nearly every U.S. state have launched antitrust investigations into Google.
ที่มา : Mashable