Google is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, but it will soon face a stout legal challenge from the US government. The Justice Department has filed a 57-page complaint with the US District Court in Washington, D.C. that accuses Google of engaging in anticompetitive business practices in an attempt to protect a monopoly on internet searches.
“For many years,” a portion of the suit reads, “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 legal battle is expected to drag on for years, and it’s not yet clear what the potential fallout for Google would be if the company lost the suit. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is valued at over $1 trillion. As noted by the New York Times, Google has fought similar antitrust lawsuits in Europe over the years. Over the past few months, Attorney General William Barr has pressured prosecutors to make an announcement in the case before the US presidential election in two weeks. This led several lawyers working on the case to depart.
In the last year, Google has made serious gestures towards entering the gaming industry, culminating in the introduction of their streaming platform Stadia late last year. Google recently announced that all Stadia users will receive access to game demos this week like Humankind and the upcoming Ubisoft game Immortals: Fenyx Rising.
The last notable antitrust action taken against a tech company of Google’s scale was back in 2001, when Microsoft was accused of maintaining a monopoly by bundling Internet Explorer with its operating system, as well as allegedly manipulating APIs to favor their browser. That case eventually resulted in a settlement that was widely perceived as a slap on the wrist for Microsoft.
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