The United States government has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the popular search engine “Google”, accusing the company of “crushing competition to protect and expand the monopoly.”
The move comes after a 14-month investigation, in which the US Department of Justice investigated whether Google was distorting search results in favor of its own products and preventing access to competitors, sources told Bloomberg.
This is important; Since Google accounts for 90% of the Internet search services sector in the United States, and has a revenue of $ 100 billion, competitors have long complained about the abuse of its power to “eliminate competition”.
The United States is not alone in feeling anxious; But it has not taken any action against the company since early investigations in 2013, and European antitrust agencies earlier filed Google billions of euros for violating antitrust laws.
Sources told Bloomberg that action is expected within the next week or two, after prosecutors and Justice Department lawyers completed final preparations for the case this week in Washington.
Officials met with Google representatives last week to discuss accusations of bias in the search against competitors, and the virtual offering of Google and its other partners to users.
“It is impossible for small competitors in search engines to compete with Google’s financial strength and bid on valuable topics,” said Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of search engine company DuckDuckGo, in his complaint to the Department of Justice.
A spokesman for “DuckDuck Go” said in a recent statement that the company is pleased; Because the Department of Justice “will finally address the elephant in the room: Google and its clear, overwhelming, anti-competitive dominance in search”.
Led by US Attorney General William Barr, this case could become the largest monopoly case in the country since the lawsuit against Microsoft in 1998.
The Microsoft case began when the information technology company, Sun Microsystems, filed a complaint with the European Commission. Microsoft’s refusal to allow it to know the codes (codes) that allow Sun servers to work effectively with computers running Windows operating systems, which kept it out of the server system market.
The European Commission, which has broad powers in overseeing monopolistic practices and mergers, concluded in 2004 that Microsoft – the software giant – used its control over 95% of the PC driver market. To dislodge its competitors and inflict damage on them.
William Kovacic, a professor of law at George Washington University and former chair of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), said the Justice Department could present similar arguments about “the exclusivity claim as a way to exclude competitors,” which it has used “successfully” against Microsoft in the past.