Google has just been faced with one of the largest antitrust cases in the U.S. history after the Justice Department filed a suit against the tech giant for illegal monopolization of the search and ad markets.
The complaint stated that countless advertisers must pay a toll to Google’s search advertising and general search text advertising monopolies and that American consumers are forced to accept the company’s policies, privacy practices, and use of personal data. The complaint further argued that new companies with innovative business models can not emerge from Google’s ‘'long shadow’'.
Justice Department officials demanded that google stop its illegal conduct which is against the traditional antitrust principles. Their main focus was on the magnitude and power of Google’s control over the search market - the fact that the company controls search distribution channels accounting for about 80% of general search queries in the U.S.
“We’re asking the court to break Google’s grip on search distribution so that competition and innovation can take hold.”, said Justice Department’s senior advisor for tech industries, Ryan Shores.
Google, on the other hand, doesn’t agree with the claims and argues that its high share of search markets is simply the outcome of consumer choice. The company said in its defense that people use Google because they ‘'choose’' to, and not because they are forced to or because they can not find an alternative.
While Google has faced antitrust cases previously, their scale wasn’t as big as of the current one. The only most serious action that the company faced before was back in 2013, when it changed its AdSense policies to resolve a Federal Trade Commission investigation without formal legal action.