The United States Justice Department and many state attorneys general are reported to be preparing to sue Google for antitrust violations.
Antitrust laws exist in both federal and state level.
Antitrust laws aim to promote competition by discouraging large organizations from unfairly using their dominant market position to squeeze out competitors.
The antitrust legal action could be filed this summer followed by state level lawsuits in the fall, according to Reuters.
Google has been accused in Europe of having used its market leading position to harm competitors.
TripAdvisor and Expedia, among many others, have recently accused Google of using its search results in Europe to promote Google’s webpages over those of competitors.
The accusations in Europe may offer a preview of the the kinds of allegations Google may face in the United States:
According to Bloomberg:
“In a letter to EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager published online, more than 30 travel firms allege that Google is “favoring its own service in general search results pages” by displaying ads “in a visually-rich OneBox” showing pictures, a map preview, ratings and prices. The display “secures Google’s service more user attention and clicks than any competing service may acquire.”
Google was fined $1.7 billion in Europe in 2019 for anti-competitive behavior.
Accusations against Google are said to possibly follow in a similar track in the United States.
According to a report in Reuters:
“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the multi-state investigation, said they were talking to companies who said that they had been hurt by the search and advertising giant.”
The United States Justice Department has not issued a statement.
Reuters quoted a Google statement:
“We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton, and we don’t have any updates or comments on speculation.”