For the past few weeks, the US Department of Justice has been preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against search and advertising behemoth Google.
This comes almost six years after a previous antitrust investigation against Google by the Federal Trade Commission. Back then, Google managed to avoid any legal action. Before that, Google faced an antitrust case in 2011 when the FTC managed to put a fine of 22.5 million dollars on the company.
The possible antitrust probe was first reported by WSJ and later confirmed by other leading publications, including The Washington Post.
It’s known that the DOJ is working with the FTC to file a strong case against the company. Although, there isn’t any word on what products and practices of the company would be investigated.
Still, it could bring into question Google’s dominance and near monopoly in different areas such as smartphone software, web browsers, search engines, advertising, and many more.
Many of Google’s products allow the company to collect an enormous amount of data which is often used to target ads. Additionally, it gives the company control over the data of so many people across the globe and also an upper hand in the competition.
This has often itched the nerves of many regulators and politicians, including the 2020 U.S. presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She has openly agreed on the idea of putting a toll on companies like Google once they come to power.
In fact, the Google monopoly in some areas is definitely real. We are seeing right now how Google pulling Huawei’s Android license has threatened the very existence of Huawei’s smartphone business.
It’s not just the U.S., the search giant is also facing a probe in other parts of the world. The latest came from the European Union, which incurred a 9 billion euro fine over Google’s business practices related to AdSense, Search and the “Google” apps it preloads on Android devices.
More recently, the Competition Commission of India is also working on an antitrust case against the company for abusing its Android monopoly. A Google spokesperson said they’ll demonstrate how Android brought cheaper smartphones to the country and how Android has led to improved competition and innovation, not less.
via The Verge