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Abuse of dominant position: American justice opens proceedings against Google

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Judicial pressure on the Mountain View firm crossed a new threshold on Tuesday, with the complaint filed by the government and eleven US attorneys general.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the US Department of Justice and the attorneys general of eleven federated states officially filed a complaint against Google, this Tuesday, October 20, 2020, with the objective of putting an end to anti-competitive and anti-monopoly practices on different online research and advertising markets.

The giant has crushed competition on search engines and online advertising

Accused of violating antitrust laws and maintaining illegal monopolies through its main activities, Google must now face a complaint filed by the American justice in a court in the District of Columbia, in what is arguably the most important antitrust case ever. in the United States of the millennium.

“Today millions of Americans depend on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s lawsuit against Google for violating antitrust laws is a monumental business for both the Department of Justice and the American people said Attorney General William Barr.

Google, with 137 billion euros in turnover in 2019, is criticized for having, over the years, put in place a whole series of barriers and obstacles to competition, such as imposing its search engine as the default engine on billions of mobile devices and computers, prohibiting the pre-installation of competing tools.

Google in the footsteps of AT&T and Microsoft?

The Department of Justice considers that by having limited web search to Google only or almost, the American giant has reduced the quality of the search (this includes confidentiality, data protection, and the use of consumers’ personal data) and reduces choice in research while preventing innovation. In the publishing market, Google has the ability to charge advertisers larger amounts than they should theoretically be charged, for the simple reason that here too the company has closed the market to competition.

While a recent parliamentary report from the House of Representatives committee of the US Congress recommends dismantling the GAFA, the Mountain View firm reacted by considering that the complaint has “serious shortcomings” and that in any case, people turn to Google and its services “because they choose to do so, not because they have to or because they can’t find alternatives.”

What is happening to Google recalls the case that the ministry had already mounted against Microsoft in 1998 with the case of non-removable software and the closure of distribution channels to competitors, or the one presented against the operator AT&T in 1974, which ended the company’s telephone monopoly.

Pooja Kaintura
Pooja Kaintura is Managing Editor at TechGrits. Unconditional fan of technology and culture wants to share the knowledge acquired with everyone.

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