Justice Department Files Antitrust Suit Against Google

October 20, 2020

Since its founding in 1998, Google has grown into one of the largest companies in history. Last year it earned more than $34 billion from search revenue, an enormous amount that analysts predict will grow to $42.5 billion by 2022. Google’s parent company Alphabet is valued at more than $1 trillion and holds $120 billion in cash reserves. The company’s name has even become synonymous with search as millions of people around the world “google” all sorts of information every day. 

According to a suit filed today by the Justice Department, however, Google potentially achieved this dominance by violating antitrust laws. “A significant number of entities — spanning major public corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs — depend on Google for traffic, and no alternate search engine serves as a substitute,” said the Justice Department in its report. The government agency claims that Google’s near total control of Internet search and search-related ads harms both competitors and consumers. 

Although Google has faced similar antitrust challenges in Europe, today’s lawsuit is the most significant charge the company has faced from American authorities in nearly a decade. “It’s the most newsworthy monopolization action brought by the government since the Microsoft case in the late ‘90s,” said Bill Baer, a former antitrust investigator in the Justice Department. “It’s significant in that the government believes that a highly successful tech platform has engaged in conduct that maintains its monopoly power unlawfully, and as a result injures consumers and competition.” Google denies the charges presented in the Justice Department’s report and plans to use its vast resources to fight the suit in a court battle that could drag on for years. 

Questions:

  1. Why did the Justice Department file an antitrust lawsuit against Google? 
  2. Do you think Google should be broken up into smaller entities if the antitrust lawsuit against it succeeds? Why or why not?

Sources: David McCabe and Cecilia Kang, “U.S. to Accuse Google of Protecting Illegal Monopoly,” The New York Times, October 20, 2020.

3 Responses to Justice Department Files Antitrust Suit Against Google

  • Google achieved their success and dominance by violating antitrust laws.

    I do not think they should be broken up into smaller entities because it is now over 20 years later and they are now just bringing this up. Also google employs so many people and by doing this it might eliminate jobs which would not be good.

  • 1. The Justice Department filed a long-expected antitrust lawsuit alleging that Google uses anticompetitive tactics to preserve a monopoly for its flagship search engine and related advertising business, the most aggressive U.S. legal challenge to a company’s dominance in the tech sector in more than two decades.

    2. I don’t think Google should be broken up into small companies because this could ruin the company in general and or bring other bad companies forward.

  • The Justice Department filed a long-expected antitrust lawsuit alleging that Google uses anticompetitive tactics to preserve a monopoly for its flagship search engine and related advertising business, the most aggressive U.S. legal challenge to a company’s dominance in the tech sector in more than two decades.

    no i think google is good now and they should keep going.

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