A group of 38 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google for allegedly engaging in anti-competitive behavior and contracts, as well as monopolizing the internet search engine market.
“As the gateway to the internet, Google has systematically degraded the ability of other companies to access consumers,” the lawsuit states.
This is the third suit against Google in recent months.
In October, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Google, owned by Alphabet, for violating antitrust laws and actively enabling a monopoly in search engines and search advertising. The announcement followed a year’s worth of investigation by prosecutors, who “have spoken with Google’s rivals in technology and media, collecting information and documents that could be used to build a case.” The suit focuses on the tech giant’s illegal actions in creating exclusive contracts with companies such as Apple, to make Google the default search engine on their line of software products like Safari.
Just last week, 10 states led by Texas accused Google of colluding with Facebook to create and maintain an illegal monopoly on digital advertisements in which the big tech companies rigged ad auctions. The name for the deal was reportedly disguised using the names of “Star Wars” characters.
Earlier in December, Facebook was also named in an antitrust lawsuit filed by 48 U.S. attorneys general arguing that the social media giant engaged in anti-competitive practices by buying out smaller rivals. The group of state law enforcement executives was joined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filing a separate lawsuit.
While Google claims it “operates in competitive markets,” many have alleged that the company intentionally promotes its own service providers, stifling smaller competitors.
In a hearing in July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted that Google tried to monopolize the ad market.
Shortly after this hearing, 10 top senators demanded investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to evaluate the company’s anticompetitive practices, which were eventually rewarded with the aforementioned lawsuit.