Search giant Google has been dealt a huge blow by US regulators after it was accused of violating competition law in the country. After more than a year of investigation, the US government has confirmed that it will be filing charges against the technology firm.
Specifically, the case focuses on whether Google’s decision to pre-install its search engine on devices delivers an unfair advantage within the search market.
“Today, millions of Americans rely on the internet and online platforms for their daily lives. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google — the gatekeeper of the Internet — for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the Department of Justice and for the American people,” said US Attorney General William Barr. “Since my confirmation, I have prioritized the Department’s review of online market-leading platforms to ensure that our technology industries remain competitive. This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small businesses and entrepreneurs beholden to an unlawful monopolist.”
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Taking on big tech
Although Google has faced antitrust lawsuits before, they have most commonly been filed in the European market where different competition laws apply. For example, the company is already appealing against $8.2 billion in fines issued by the European Commission. This is the first time, however, that a landmark case has been launched on US soil.
Google has responded by defending its competition practices, calling the lawsuit “deeply flawed.” The company is expected to lodge an appeal, which means that the case is likely to drag on for years. More broadly, the decision to take on Google could signal the start of a shift in approach for US regulators. Other major tech firms, including Facebook and Amazon, may soon come under fire too.
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Via BBC News