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US accuses Google for protecting monopoly illegally

On Tuesday,  The Department of Justice accused Google 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. 

The filing alleges that Google maintains its market dominance by entering into exclusivity agreements to be the default search product on various devices and platforms, then uses its profits to 'buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers, and other search access points'.

That, essentially, keeps other search players out of the market.

Google in a blogpost said, "Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they're forced to, or because they can't find alternatives. 

This lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use."

Google’s deals with Apple, mobile carriers and other handset manufacturers 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. 

The lawsuit, which may stretch on for years, could set off a cascade of other antitrust lawsuits from state attorneys general. About four dozen states and jurisdictions, including New York and Texas, have conducted parallel investigations and some of them are expected to bring separate complaints against the company’s grip on technology for online advertising. Eleven state attorneys general, all Republicans, signed on to support the federal lawsuit.

Attorney General William P. Barr had spoken publicly about the investigation for months. He urged the agency to file a case by the end of September, prompting resistance from some of its lawyers who wanted more time and complained of political motivations. 

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