The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been preparing to potentially take down Google’s empire, and it’s nearing the finish line.
The DOJ is expected to bring an antitrust lawsuit against Google next week, and “is currently urging state attorneys general to sign onto the lawsuit,” several sources familiar with the process told Reuters yesterday.
“The lawsuit is expected to accuse Google, builder of the world’s dominant search engine, of looking to disadvantage rivals such as Microsoft’s Bing by depriving them of the data about users and user preferences that they need to improve and to advertise to people,” Reuters reported.
The DOJ began its antitrust investigation into Google last year. Last week, the DOJ briefed state attorneys general on the impending case, and the attorneys general are reportedly deciding whether or not to sign on to the lawsuit at this point, according to Reuters.
“The Justice Department has also been investigating Google’s ‘search advertising,’ the ads that appear under a search box if a person looks up a consumer item like ‘dishwasher,’ Google controls the sale of the space under these searches, as well as the tools to make those ad sales,” Reuters said.
Earlier this month, a representative from Google faced off with the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) grilled Google’s President of Global Partnerships and Corporate Development Don Harrison on Google’s anti-conservative bias and the company’s business practices. “If Google isn’t dominant, why does it have the power to demand of a media publisher it disagrees with that it take down the comments site and why does it expect immediate obedience?” Cruz asked Harrison at the hearing.
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