The Justice Department, along with the attorneys general from 11 states, have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit accuses the search giant of using its size and power to create an illegal monopoly over search and search-based advertising.
"Two decades ago, Google became the darling of Silicon Valley as a scrappy startup with an innovative way to search the emerging internet. That Google is long gone," the lawsuit said.
"The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet, and one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, with a market value of $1 trillion and annual revenue exceeding $160 billion," it continued. "For many years, Google has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising — the cornerstones of its empire."
Ryan Shores, the Justice Department's senior technology adviser, explained that Google uses exclusionary agreements to make their search engine the default on many devices, which prevents their competitors from gaining a foothold in the market.
"Google collectively pays mobile phone manufacturers, carriers, and web browsers billions of dollars each year from its monopoly search advertising revenues to be the present default search engine," Shores said. "This is by far the most effective way for a search engine to gain users, as most people simply use this default."
Google vowed to fight the lawsuit, which could take years to settle. Google said that they have not built a monopoly, pointing out that consumers have other options.
"Today's lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to -- not because they're forced to or because they can't find alternatives."
Lawmakers praised the decision by the Justice Department.
"Today's lawsuit is the most important antitrust case in a generation," Missouri Senator Josh Hawley said in a statement. "Google and its fellow Big Tech monopolists exercise unprecedented power over the lives of ordinary Americans, controlling everything from the news we read to the security of our most personal information. And Google, in particular, has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means."
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