Google is no longer “Silicon Valley’s favorite,” according to complaints filed by the Ministry of Justice and several state attorneys this week. What started as a “nonsense” has become a corporate business, to the point where the agency remembers that the United States has unreliable laws – and it is their job to force them.
The US government has not followed a professional company in this way since the late 1990s – when it filed a lawsuit against Microsoft. And when the two complaints are placed side by side, it is difficult to know what was written in 1998 and in 2020. But this is a serious offense, and it could signal the end of government negligence when it comes to control.
DOJ Criticizes Google for Strengthening Competition
The agency blames Google for hindering competition from trading with other technology tools that make Google the only search engine in town. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Google has violated the terms prohibited by:
- Forcing some professional companies to enter into exclusive agreements that “prohibit the placement of any competitive search activity”
- Getting into the habit of forcing it to stop its search engine in the best position on the mobile device and keep it from crashing.
- Maintaining long-term agreements with Apple that require Google to be a search engine on the Apple Safari browser and other Apple search tools.
- Purchase specialized tools for tools, browsers, and other “search engines”
Google pays retailers and generates billions of dollars annually to “block distribution channels and restrict competitors,” according to the complaint. In fact, Google does much better than its competitors when it comes to market share, driving around 90 percent of all search queries all around the world.
“But Google Is Free!” (They will say)
Google will have a hard time convincing the judge that it has no power over online search. But who gets hurt when drugs are free for everyone? Microsoft Internet Explorer was also free, but the government claims (then and now) that it is the very idea of competition being harmed here:
“Most competitors are denied the distribution, size, and awareness of content – making sure they have no real opportunity to challenge Google.”
The influence of Google is so great that even the word “Google” has taken the place of some’s search engines. In addition, personal privacy can still mean higher prices for advertisers, weakening privacy, and less motivation to keep the right things.
For its part, the company called the DOJ suit “very bad.” But if the DOJ wins, it could signal a major change that could lead to distrust law in the digital age.
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