Article by Advaita Kapoor (3rd year B.A. LLB (Hons.) student at Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, India)
The United States Department of Justice has yet again, subsequent to the 1998 Microsoft case, taken the bold step of suing the biggest tech company prevalent in the world, Google Inc., for the malpractice of unlawfully creating a monopoly in online search and advertising and abusing its dominant position to the prejudice of its competitors and consumers. Eleven US States- Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina and Texas- joined the lawsuit.
What is the subject matter of the lawsuit?
This is a bipartisan effort to look into the power dynamics of Google in the market and bring structural reforms. In the move to remove Google’s anticompetitive conduct, the government has accused the tech company of thwarting competition by paying billions of dollars to device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung and browser developers like Mozilla to ensure that Google is the default search engine. It has misused its monopoly power that acts as a detriment to fair competition. This act also deprives consumers from availing services from other viable competitors taking away their right of choice.
Google has vehemently denied these claims and blatantly called these complaints frivolous. It has justified its stance of paying to be the default search engine as merely a product promotional technique, comparing it to the act of paying a supermarket to display the product on the eye-level shelf. They have asserted the wide usage of Google as a search engine as a matter of people’s choice rather than a lack of alternative.
You can read more here.