Lawmakers hail DOJ antitrust lawsuit against Google as ‘long overdue’

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House and Senate lawmakers on Tuesday welcomed the Department of Justice (DOJ) decision to file an antitrust complaint against Google that claims the tech giant used its power to preserve its monopoly through its search engine.

“Today’s trial is the largest antitrust case in a generation,” Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Said in a statement. “Google and its Big Tech monopoly colleagues wield unprecedented power over the lives of ordinary Americans, controlling the information we read to the safety of our most personal information. And Google in particular has collected and maintained this power through illegal means. ”

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The DOJ lawsuit alleges that Google used its dominant position in online search and advertising to stifle competition and increase profits. The suit could be an opening stunt in a battle against a number of big tech companies in the months to come.

A Google spokesperson told Fox News: “Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to do so, not because they have to or because they can’t find alternatives. this morning. ”

According to the lawsuit, “For years, Google has entered into exclusionary agreements, including tied selling agreements, and engaged in anti-competitive behavior to lock down distribution channels and block its competitors. ”

“US consumers are obligated to accept Google’s policies, privacy practices and use of personal data; and new companies with innovative business models cannot step out of Google’s long shadow. In the interest of American consumers, advertisers and all businesses that now depend on the Internet economy, now is the time to stop Google’s anti-competitive behavior and restore competition, ”he said.

The DOJ says the action was brought to prevent Google from “illegally maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising and general search text advertising in the United States through practices anti-competitive and exclusionary, and to remedy the effects of such behavior. ”

“Thanks in large part to Google’s opt-out agreements and anti-competitive behavior, Google has accounted for nearly 90% of all general search engine queries in the United States in recent years and almost 95% of search engine queries. mobile devices, ”says the lawsuit. .

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The lawsuit has been going on for more than a year, and Big Tech executives from Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter are anticipating an announcement – designing their testimony in Congress to stave off a possible federal lawsuit.

House antitrust subcommittee chairman David N. Cicillin, DR.I. called the trial “long overdue” and drew attention to previous investigations by the committee.

“The subcommittee’s investigation revealed a lot of evidence showing that Google has maintained and extended its monopoly to hurt competition,” he said in a statement. “It is essential that the Justice Department’s lawsuit focus on Google’s monopolization of search and search advertising, while also targeting the anti-competitive business practices Google uses to take advantage of this monopoly in other areas.” , such as maps, browsers, video, and voice assistants. . ”

The lawsuit alleges that Google used billions of dollars from advertisers for payphone manufacturers to ensure that Google is the default search engine on browsers.

“For a general search engine, by far the most efficient delivery medium is to be the default general search engine predefined for mobile and computer search access points,” the lawsuit said. “Even when users can change the default, they rarely do. This leaves the predefined default search engine de facto exclusive. ”

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The Trump administration has long had Google in its sights. A senior economic adviser to President Trump said two years ago that the White House was considering whether Google searches should be subject to government regulation.

Trump and other Republicans have accused big tech companies of being anti-conservative – claims they have denied.

During a press conference, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the case had nothing to do with online bias and was only about competitive conditions in the marketplace.

Fox News’ Gillian Turner, Jake Gibson and Bill Mears, as well as The Associated Press, contributed to this report.

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