The Department of Justice (DOJ) will file an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Tuesday after conducting a lengthy investigation into the tech giant over alleged monopolistic behavior.
The lawsuit will allege that the tech giant has engaged in anticompetitive practices to protect its search and search-advertising businesses, sources identified only as senior DOJ officials told The Wall Street Journal.
Google has frozen out competitors through contracts between the tech giant and browsers, carriers, and mobile phone manufacturers that give Google such prime standing as the default search engine across a variety of platforms as to bar any competitors from beginning to compete with the tech giant. Googles search queries make up roughly 80% of all those in the U.S.
Google has argued in the past that billions of people choosing to use its product every day is evidence of the company’s competitive edge, not monopolistic behavior. The legal battle between the tech giant and the U.S. government is likely to span years.
The lawsuit follows an investigation into the company that lasted for more than a year and took place in a wider investigation into Silicon Valley tech giants for alleged anticompetitive practices.
President Donald Trump has long accused tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter of illegal, monopolistic behavior and hostility to conservative viewpoints. The lawsuit against Google was cheered by some of Trump’s allies, including Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the most outspoken members of the Senate against the influence of Silicon Valley tech giants.
“Today’s lawsuit is the most important antitrust case in a generation. 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,” Hawley said in a statement.
“And Google in particular has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means. That is why I launched a sweeping antitrust investigation of Google when I was Missouri Attorney General, and that’s why I stand behind the Department of Justice’s actions today. But to be clear – this is just a first step, and I will continue to fight for the legislative solutions needed to end the tyranny of Big Tech,” he added.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 20, 2020
The DOJ began its review of Google and other tech giants in July of last year. As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
After much criticism of the biggest technology firms, such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon for alleged prevention of competition in their fields, the Justice Department has commenced a huge antitrust review.
Attorney General William Barr is spearheading the effort, which is expected to penetrate more deeply into the companies’ practices than the intentions of the Federal Trade Commission. Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim stated, “Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands. The department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”