Google accused of search manipulation in third major antitrust lawsuit

A coalition of 38 states filed an antitrust lawsuit in opposition to Google Thursday specializing in the design of the tech large’s search engine. It’s the third main antitrust lawsuit filed in opposition to the search large this yr.

Colorado’s Democratic Lawyer Basic Phil Weiser and Nebraska’s Republican Lawyer Basic Doug Peterson led the bipartisan group of states’ go well with accusing Google of anticompetitive conduct like designing its search engine in a manner that leverages the corporate’s personal merchandise over these of its opponents.

“Google sits on the crossroads of so many areas of our digital financial system and has used its dominance to illegally squash opponents, monitor almost each side of our digital lives, and revenue to the tune of billions,” New York Democratic Lawyer Basic Letitia James mentioned in an announcement Thursday.

Based on a press launch from the New York Lawyer Basic’s workplace, the states are asking the court docket to cease Google’s unlawful conduct and “restore a aggressive market.” They’re additionally looking for to “counter any benefits that Google gained because of its anticompetitive conduct,” together with attainable divestitures.

Google didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Thursday’s lawsuit is simply the most recent in a stream of court docket challenges for Google. On Wednesday, Texas’ state legal professional normal introduced new antitrust charges in opposition to the search large. Nevertheless, the Texas-led lawsuit centered on Google’s advert tech practices, primarily taking problem with the corporate’s necessities for publishers. The Justice Division additionally filed its personal go well with in October, together with 11 Republican state attorneys normal, specializing in Google’s unique contracts with Android smartphone producers and Apple to set its personal search engine because the default possibility on these gadgets.

Shortly after the DOJ filed its Android case this fall, Kent Walker, Google’s senior vp of worldwide affairs, mentioned that Google deliberate to contest the go well with.

“Folks use Google as a result of they select to, not as a result of they’re pressured to, or as a result of they’ll’t discover options,” Walker mentioned on the time. “This lawsuit would do nothing to assist shoppers.”

In 2019, the Justice Division introduced a broad antitrust investigation into the tech business, together with firms like Amazon, Apple, Fb, and Google. Within the months following this announcement, the DOJ has labored alongside states to construct instances on a few of these firms. Final week, the Federal Commerce Fee and dozens of states filed separate suits seeking to break up Fb, unwinding the social media firm’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.


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