The Justice Department will reportedly file antitrust charges against Google later this month focused on how it has used its search dominance in the online advertising business.
Attorney General William Barr is planning to bring the case against the tech behemoth earlier than expected, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing career DOJ lawyers, in order to allow the Trump administration to take credit for the action. Most of the approximately 40 Justice Department lawyers working on the Google investigation opposed ending their work by the end of September but were overruled by Barr.
The Justice Department and some state attorneys general have been investigating Google over the past year or so, focused on the anti-competitive conduct in Google’s online advertising business fueled by its dominance in the search engine sphere, connecting online publishers and advertisers to hundreds of millions of users.
A bipartisan coalition of the top legal officers from 50 states and territories announced last September that it would investigate Google’s alleged monopolistic practices.
Furthermore, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim told the Washington Examiner in November that the Justice Department’s investigation into online platforms would focus on the possibility that tech firms, such as Google, had used data they had gathered from customers to block competitors from markets they manage.
The DOJ lawsuit could present a significant threat to Google’s business model and would be one of the most prominent antitrust cases in U.S. history, alongside the Microsoft antitrust case of the late 1990s. Critics of Google want a range of punishments against the online search giant, from forcing it to change some of its business activities to an entire breakup of the company.
Author: Nihal Krishan
Source: Washington Examiner: Trump DOJ to file antitrust lawsuit against Google within weeks: Report