The US Justice Department, as well as a number of state attorneys general might be preparing to sue Google antitrust violations.
Antitrust laws exist in both a federal and state level, and aim to promote competition by discouraging large organizations from unfairly using their dominance in the market to squeeze out competitors.
Reuters says that the antitrust legal action could be filed this summer followed by state level lawsuits in the fall.
The federal lawsuit focuses on unfair practices in search, advertising and issues that surrounds the Android OS.
In Europe, the search engine has been accused of having used it’s market lead to harm competitors. Many online companies, including Expedia and TripAdvisor, have been recently accusing Google of using its search results in Europe to promote Googles web pages over those competitors.
The accusations in Europe may show us what type of allegations Google may face in the United States:
According to Bloomberg:
“In a letter to EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager published online, more than 30 travel firms allege that Google is “favoring its own service in general search results pages” by displaying ads “in a visually-rich OneBox” showing pictures, a map preview, ratings and prices. The display “secures Google’s service more user attention and clicks than any competing service may acquire.”
Google was fined $1.7 Billion dollars in Europe in 2019 for anti-competitive behavior.
Following a similar track, accusations against Google are said to go the same route in the US.
According to a report in Reuters:
“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the multi-state investigation, said they were talking to companies who said that they had been hurt by the search and advertising giant.”
The United States Justice Department has not issued a statement.
Reuters quoted a Google statement:
“We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton, and we don’t have any updates or comments on speculation,” a Google spokesperson said in an email statement.”