The US Department of Justice is suing Google for abusing its monopoly position. The company would use the market power to sideline competitors. Eleven US states are also filing lawsuits against the search engine giant, American media write.
Google controls by far the majority of the online search market in the United States. The search company also has the biggest finger in the pie on the online advertising market.
The prosecutors accuse Google, among other things, of maintaining the monopoly through exclusive contracts and agreements. For example, Google paid billions of dollars to Apple to use the Google search engine as the default option in iPhones.
‘Indictment is seriously inadequate’
The US moves against Google follow political pressure from both Democrats and Republicans. At the beginning of October, the Democrats concluded that measures should be taken against the monopolies of large tech companies such as Google. Republican President Trump has previously promised his voters to tackle the tech companies.
“The Justice Department’s indictment is seriously flawed,” Google responded on Twitter. “People use Google because they want to, not because they are forced or because they cannot find alternatives.” Google will come up with a more detailed response later.
Fines in the EU
In Europe, Google’s power has long been under the scrutiny of the competition authorities. Last year, the company was fined 1.49 billion euros by the European Commission for thwarting competitors in the online advertising market.
A year earlier, Google received a record fine of 4.34 billion euros for abuse of power with the Android mobile operating system. And in 2017, it had to pay 2.42 billion euros to favor Google Shopping within its own search engine.