Members of the US legislature have applauded the Department of Justice for its antitrust lawsuits against Google. The department claims the giant tech company has been abusing its powers so as to remain the sole search engine for Americans. According to the department, Google, also known as the Big G, has been using the information of United States citizens to retain a monopoly.
“Today’s lawsuit is the most important antitrust case in a generation,” Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri stated. “Google and its fellow Big Tech monopolists exercise unprecedented power over the lives of ordinary Americans, controlling everything from the news we read to the security of our most personal information. And Google in particular has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means.”
The lawsuit accuses Google of misusing its dominance as most people’s choice search engine to kill the businesses of other search engines as well as increase its profit. Other suits are expected to come after this one as the department pledges to bring the alleged illegal activities of other big tech companies to an end. A spokesperson for Google told reporters that the lawsuit has no basis and contains a lot of flaws. According to the spokesperson, most people have opted to use Google and have not been forced to do so unlike what the DOJ claims.
Google later released a detailed blog post to counter the charges filed against it. The company explained that the DOJ’s stipulations are “dubious”.
“This lawsuit would be of no benefit to consumers,” Google responds. “Instead, it 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.”
The lawsuit states that Google has been involved in conducts that go against the proper spirit of business competition to control distribution channels and stop competitors. The department further stated in the suit that Google compels US citizens to accept privacy policies and use of private data amidst other unacceptable practices. As a result, small businesses in the same line are having a difficult time breaking into the market. The department asserted that the giant tech has to be stopped for the sake of consumers, advertisers, and small businesses that rely on the internet and that stopping Google’s practices will level the playing field for others.
According to the lawsuit, almost 90% of searches on the internet in the United States are done on Google. The tech company also takes 95% of the searches done on mobile phones. This feat, the lawsuit says, is as a result of Google’s exclusionary measures. Tech companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook have been preparing for such lawsuits for over a year following rumors of impending suits against them. Reports have it that the companies are prepared to defend their actions before Congress.
Democrat Chairman of the Antitrust Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, David N. Cicilline, stated that the Antitrust Subcommittee carried out a similar probe in the past. Cicilline described the lawsuit as long overdue. The chairman stated that Google is unduly monopolizing internet search and search advertising as well as using anti-competitive business practices to seize control of other sectors such as browsers, maps, voice assistants, and videos.
The lawsuit also accuses Google of giving billions of dollars of advertising income to phone manufacturers who will add Google as the default search engine in their browsers. The suit concluded by stating that most people do not use other search engines as a result of this monopoly.