|Weekly News Digest
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The New York Times: 'U.S. Accuses Google of Illegally Protecting Monopoly'
Cecilia Kang, David McCabe and Daisuke Wakabayashi write the following for The New York Times:
The Justice Department accused Google on [Oct. 20] of illegally protecting its monopoly over search and search advertising, the government’s most significant challenge to a tech company’s market power in a generation and one that could reshape the way consumers use the internet.
In a much-anticipated lawsuit, the agency accused Google of locking up deals with giant partners like Apple and throttling competition through exclusive business contracts and agreements.
Google’s deals with Apple, mobile carriers and other handset makers to make its search engine the default option for users accounted for most of its dominant market share in search, the agency said, a figure that it put at around 80 percent.
‘For many years,’ the agency said in its 57-page complaint, ‘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.’
The lawsuit, which may stretch on for years, could set off a cascade of other antitrust lawsuits from state attorneys general. …
Google called the suit ‘deeply flawed.’ But the agency’s action signaled a new era for the technology sector. It reflects pent-up and bipartisan frustration toward a handful of companies—Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook in particular—that have evolved from small and scrappy companies into global powerhouses with outsize influence over commerce, speech, media and advertising. …
A victory for the government could remake one of America’s most recognizable companies and the internet economy that it has helped define since it was founded by two Stanford University graduate students in 1998.
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