Justice Department Sues Google For Search And Advertising Practices

The Justice Department sued Google yesterday alleging that its search and advertising practices violate federal laws.

Justice DepartmentPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

The lawsuit concludes a months-long investigation of Google, critiquing its digital dominance of business rivals. The suit alleges that Google secures an insurmountable lead in online searches, capturing the market by 90 percent of all searches in North America.

The Justice Department claims Google spent billions of dollars to become the default search application on Web browsers globally. That includes smartphones, apple watches, smart tv’s, and a wide array of other devices.  The government claims this has allowed Google to grow astronomically and render the company a practical monopoly on lucrative ads and reduces competition for companies like Yelp or Yahoo

The U.S. Justice Department did not request a judge disband Google. Instead, they would rather consider the idea of “structural relief,” including a requirement that the company ceases whatever practices federal regulators see as unlawful to the marketplace. “For the sake of American consumers, advertisers, and all companies now reliant on the internet economy, the time has come to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition,” the Justice Department said.

Google officially rejected the government’s claim. The company’s chief legal officer defended Google’s business practices, arguing that consumers can freely use any search engine they wish.

The Justice Department’s filing has changed the business situation for Google in the United States. The lawsuit marks the largest court filing brought upon a tech giant in decades. More strict regulation on ads with Google in Washington D.C. has only recently become a concern. In stark contrast, European Union regulators have fined Google over $9 billion in fines over the last few years. Such efforts in Europe to regulate and reform how Google operates is constantly pressuring the tech giant. 

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