WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the tech giant is violating antitrust laws with its monopoly on search services.
“This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet,” said Attorney General William Barr.
The Trump administration’s lawsuit claims Google hurts its competitors by spending billions of dollars to ensure it is the default search engine people see.
The Justice Department also says those practices hurt consumers by limiting options and hurt small businesses by raising advertising prices.
Carl Szabo, the vice president of Netchoice — an online trade association that represents online platforms including Google — responded by saying the “flawed” lawsuit “could raise phone prices and make it harder for people to get the services they want.”
“The idea that the Google search is the alpha and omega of all search is not just absurd, it’s patently false,” said Szabo.
Szabo said search engines like Bing, Yelp, Angie’s List and Yahoo are proof that consumers have other options. He warned the lawsuit could be a political move just weeks before the election.
“Political pressure on platforms Google runs,” Szabo said. “And political pressure to other platforms saying ‘if you don’t fall in line we’re going to come after you, too.'”
If it’s successful, the lawsuit could force parts of Google’s business to be broken off and run separately.