The Justice Department filed an unprecedented lawsuit on Tuesday, Oct. 20, against Google accusing it of abusing online searches to suppress competition and thereby harm consumers, The Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit, according to related sources, is the most important legal act by a government in favor of antitrust laws.
Google has faced several accusations and complaints for quite some time from some legislators and groups in defense of consumers, who assure that certain practices in the search algorithms and online advertising systems of the search engine, try to suppress competition and increase profits by harming consumers.
Major critics claim that the multimillion dollar fines and the changes they forced into some of Google’s practices, imposed by European regulators in recent years, were not severe enough. To generate a real transformation in the behavior of the technological giant, structural changes are needed.
One of the main criticisms is based on the fact that Google controls around 90% of web searches worldwide. To achieve such objective, the firm penetrated several markets through key purchases of successful technologies that other companies had developed, acquiring approximately 260 companies in the last 20 years. This was the conclusion of a recent report by a House Judiciary subcommittee.
In addition to the world’s most powerful search engines, the company owns Chrome, the leading web browser, Android, the world’s largest smartphone operating system, YouTube, the most widely used video site, and the most popular digital mapping system.
One of the most developed theories points out that in order to generate a real structural change, Google should be forced to get rid of some of its business units, pointing to YouTube and Android among the companies that should be considered for divestiture.
According to sources, the company was expecting action from the Trump administration against it, so it has been preparing and is expected to resist strongly any attempt to pressure it to divide its services into separate businesses.
Interestingly, most of Google’s services are offered for free, although not entirely, in exchange the user’s personal information is requested, recorded in detail on the smartphones. This data is what allows you to develop the advertising algorithms that enable you to generate your multimillion dollar income.
The Trump administration has repeatedly criticized the firm for both its monopolistic role and its anti-conservative, pro-left attitude in its search results. The latter criticism was reinforced after a former Google engineer, Kevin Cernekee, stated that the company would try to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election by harming President Trump, as reported by Fox News.
“When President Trump won in 2016, Google executives went on stage right away and cried—literally tears streaming down their faces. They vowed that it would never happen again and they want to use all the power and resources they have to control the flow of information to the public and make sure that Trump loses in 2020,” Cernekee told “Fox & Friends” in August last year.
The lawsuit against Google is expected to serve as a starting point for other major actions against different types of monopolies that have emerged in recent decades.
Several companies, mainly technological, are being investigated under antitrust laws by both the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. These include Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.