US gov’t sues Google for anticompetitive conduct


Google has been slammed with a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to maintain a monopoly over search and advertising markets.

In a blog responding to the move, Google SVP of Global Affairs, Kent Walker contended people use its services “because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives”.

He added the lawsuit “would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use”.

Meanwhile, the US Justice Department argued that Google employed a combination of exclusivity, revenue-sharing and installation agreements to enforce use of its services on mobile devices and PCs, harming consumers and advertisers by preventing “search rivals from effective distribution, search access points and ultimately competition”.

It cited Google’s dominance in mobile, claiming the company’s practices allowed it to “lock up all the main pathways through which consumers access search on Android devices” and secure a position as the “de facto exclusive general search engine” on Apple devices.

Eleven US states joined the lawsuit, requesting courts implement “structural relief as needed to cure any anticompetitive harm”.

The justice department reportedly began probing Google’s practices in 2019.

Google was fined €2.4 billion fine in 2017 and €4.3 billion fine in 2018 by the European Commission for breaching competition law.


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