Justice Department Files Federal Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google
Today the Department of Justice, joined by the governments of 11 states, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in which they accuse the internet search company of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search advertising in the United States through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices … .”
The 64-page lawsuit contends that Google owns or controls roughly 80 percent of the market for search channels and accounts for 90 percent of all searches in the United States (and 95 percent of all mobile searches). The scale at which Google operates and its exclusionary agreements, the lawsuit argues, makes it a massive barrier to entry for rivals and innovators, which in turn makes it harder for newcomers to access its customer base, and essentially forces anybody who wants to do business online to use Google.
Mobile access via Apple phones seems to be a big deal in the lawsuit, as Google has an agreement with Apple that its search engine is the default iPhone web browser. The lawsuit acknowledges that while iPhone users are free to change the default search engine, few do. About half of the lawsuit seems to be focused entirely on Google’s dominance over mobile phone search tools.
The lawsuit also notes that while Google once prided itself as the “turnstile” to the internet for “organic searches,” its power to place advertising at the top of searches for those who are willing to pay money pushes those who aren’t willing to pay down on the page of search results. As a result, these “organic links” (as in, links that appear without paid placement at the top of the page) are being demoted. This also crowds out third-party advertising providers from Google searche
Article from Latest – Reason.com