US Department of Justice sues Google for unfair competition over digital market dominance

Elizabeth Smith

US government under Biden administration initiates lawsuit against Google charging anti-competitive conduct for monopoly in search engines and advertising.

The week that has just begun could bring bad surprises for Google, the giant in fact risks finding itself at the center of a legal battle promoted by the US government.

According to Bloomberg news agency, the news is now official and the US Department of Justice is about to send notice of the complaint. The accusation is of online advertising dominance, in violation of antitrust rules.

This is not the first time the search giant has come under the magnifying glass of the US Justice Department, already in 2020 it received a complaint for monopoly in search.

Antitrust, US government sues Google

The U.S. government is suing Google over its monopoly position. In the next hours, the Justice Department will file an antitrust lawsuit against Big G at the end of an investigation lasting more than a year.

The speculated charge is that of anti-competitive conduct to maintain its monopoly position in search engines and digital advertising.

The proceedings, expected to be filed in a federal court in Washington, D.C., will mark the largest legal challenge by the United States to a company’s dominance in the technology sector for more than two decades.

A trial that has the potential to shake Silicon Valley technological hub and redraw the boundaries of the digital industry and its enormous power.

US government suing Google, the role of Alphabet

Controlling holding company Alphabet, the lawsuit alleges, uses the billions of dollars it collects from ads on its platform to pay technology companies, sites and phone carriers to keep Google as default search engine.

The result, according to the government, is that Google has dominance over hundreds of millions of U.S. PCs, tablets and smartphones, with little opportunity for any competitor to get its way.

About 80 percent of Internet searches in the United States come through Google. This means that Google’s competitors, such as Microsoft, fail to compete on a level playing field and get a significant number of search queries, leaving consumers with less choice and less innovation and advertisers with less competitive pricing, according to the accusatory hypothesis.

In the past, also the European Union’s antitrust authority initiated three antitrust proceedings against Google that resulted in total fines of about $9 billion, but beyond the penalties according to critics, they do not seem to have particularly affected the California-based company’s activities.

Read also: Microsoft invests in OpenAI: is ChatGPT the secret to beating Google?

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