Delaware is part of another lawsuit suing a very big technology company.
The latest suit, filed by 38 attorneys general, charges Google with anticompetitive conduct in violation of the Sherman Act. The suit comes a week after Delaware joined a lawsuit against Facebook for violations of the Sherman Act and Clayton Act. And it’s the third recent antitrust suit against Google, The Washington Post reported.
“Google became a household name through the virtually unabated domination of the search market,” Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said today in a statement. “It maintains that dominance illegally – including through a longstanding pattern of exclusionary contracts that starve out potential competitors – and at the expense of consumers’ privacy.}
Google and Facebook – along with Amazon and Apple – were once the darlings of the tech revolution. But these giant companies have increasingly been the subject of anger and frustration by political and business leaders worldwide.
Netflix and Microsoft – which in 1998 was accused of dominating the browser business – are sometimes included in this very public free-for-all, which this week pitted Facebook declaring war on Apple’s new operating system and how it limits tracking.
“Adam Cohen, a director of economic policy at Google, said in a blog post that the lawsuit ‘seeks to redesign search in ways that would deprive Americans of helpful information and hurt businesses’ ability to connect directly with customers,’ The New York Times reported.
The suit follows one filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on Oct. 20. According to a release from Jennings, it goes further by claiming that Google:
• Uses exclusionary agreements and other practices to limit rival and potential rival search engines’ ability to reach consumers. This conduct cements Google as the go-to search engine on computers and mobile devices.
• Utilized its search-advertising management tool, SA360, to discriminate against its search competitors to preference its own offerings despite promising advertisers it would not.
• Discriminates against specialized search sites – such as those that provide travel, home repair, or entertainment services – by depriving them access to prime real estate because these competing sites threaten Google’s revenue and dominant position.”
It contends that Google’s acquisition and command of vast amounts of data – obtained in increasing part because of consumers’ lack of choice – has fortified its monopoly.
The states ask the court to halt Google’s illegal conduct, restore a competitive marketplace and unwind any unfair advantages that Google gained, possibly by forcing its owner, Alphabet, to divest of parts of its business.