In a much-anticipated lawsuit, the Department of Justice filed suit against Google yesterday, alleging the company is violating antitrust laws. Google has been the subject of bipartisan criticism for its alleged control of the Internet search market.
In a nutshell, the DOJ asserts that Google is illegally maintaining its dominant position in the Internet search market by paying companies like Apple billions of dollars to have its search engine set as the default search engine on its devices. Additionally, the DOJ is taking aim at Google’s Android operating system, which incorporates Google as the default search engine.
To prevail, the DOJ must prove that Google is dominant in Internet search searches, and that its deals with Apple and others stifle competition. In recent congressional testimony and other public statements, Google has claimed that it is not dominant and that consumers can easily change the default search engine. Additionally, Google asserts that examining only general searches is, “myopic” and points out that nearly half of online shopping searches begin with Amazon and not Google.
This will be a closely watched case — as articulated by The New York Times in a recent article, “a victory for the government could remake one of America’s recognizable companies and the Internet economy it has defined since it was founded …”
You can read the DOJ’s complaint here: