By Ayse Bayram
Money and Investing Editor
The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on October 20. The DOJ is suing Google due to its business practices, arguing that Google acts as a monopoly.
Google has grown so large that it can create deals with companies, such as Apple, to become the default search browser. This eliminates competition as smaller companies are not able to engage in similar contracts.
These actions have led to Google accounting for nearly 90% of all online searches in the United States, according to the lawsuit. The government argues that Google’s dominance in the industry has led to a decrease in the quality of service provided to consumers.
Google believes that the argument made by the DOJ is weak.
According to an interview with the Wall Street Journal and Google’s Chief Legal Officer, Kent Walker, “People use Google because they choose to—not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives.”
“Like countless other businesses, we pay to promote our services, just like a cereal brand might pay a supermarket to stock its products at the end of a row or on a shelf at eye level.”
The company believes that consumers prefer to use Google over other search engines entirely on their own and that they do not influence consumers.
Since filing the case on Tuesday, investors have shown little worry as shares have increased by 1.4%. This is can be because this is not Google’s first lawsuit and no actions are currently in effect. Antitrust lawsuits take years to come to trial, so investors are safe in the short-term.
Many consumers use the services provided by Google because they are free. If Google were to lose the case, this does not mean that changes will occur quickly.
Comparing Google’s case to Microsoft in the late 90s, the case was filed in 1998 and was not fully settled until 2001. Minimal changes were made to Microsoft following an appeal in their favor.
Google has years in the safe zone until it is faced with any major decisions.
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