The DOJ says Google monopolizes search. Here’s how.

What America’s biggest antitrust lawsuit in 20 years has to say

The US Department of Justice and attorneys general from 11 Republican-led states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, alleging that the company maintains an illegal monopoly on online search and advertising.

The lawsuit follows a 16-month investigation, and repeated promises from President Trump to hold Big Tech to account amid unproven allegations of anti-conservative bias. But reports suggest the department was put under pressure by Attorney General William Barr to file the charges before the presidential election in two weeks’ time.

The idea of regulating Big Tech isn’t itself partisan, however. Earlier this month, House Democrats published a 449-page report looking at all the ways in which Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are monopolistic, and arguing for increased enforcement of antitrust legislation against them. Letitia James, the attorney general of New York, has indicated that seven additional states—including her own—were close to filing their own lawsuit and might join the DOJ’s action later. 

The case centers on Google’s tactics and market dominance in search. It currently receives 80% of all search queries in the United States, and the DOJ says it uses the tens of billions of dollars of annual profits from search advertising to unfairly suppress its competition.

Here’s a breakdown of how the DOJ alleges that Google has maintained its illegal monopoly –  1. Making Google Search the Default: The suit says Google maintains its advantage through exclusionary agreements worth billions of dollars that make its search engine the default on web browsers, mobile devices, and . . . . full story