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US Government To Hit Google with Massive Antitrust Lawsuit

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The Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google has been abusing its online dominance in online search to stifle competition and harm consumers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

The litigation marks the government’s most significant act to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago.

The suit could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

Lawmakers and consumer advocates have long accused Google, whose corporate parent Alphabet Inc. has a market value just over $1 trillion, of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits.

Critics contend that multibillion-dollar fines and mandated changes in Google’s practices imposed by European regulators in recent years weren’t severe enough and that structural changes are needed for Google to change its conduct.

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The case is expected to be filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., and will allege it has been abusing its online dominance in online search to stifle competition and harm consumers, the person familiar with the matter told the AP.

It will also allege that Google uses billions collected from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers, the person said. The person could not discuss the matter publicly before a formal announcement expected later Tuesday morning and spoke to AP on the condition of anonymity.

The Trump administration has long had Google in its sights.

A top economic adviser to President Donald Trump said two years ago that the White House was considering whether Google searches should be subject to government regulation.

Do you think Google is a monopoly that needs to be broken up?

Trump himself has often criticized Google, reiterating arguments from conservatives that the search giant is biased against conservatives and suppresses their viewpoints, interferes with U.S. elections and prefers working with the Chinese military over the Pentagon.

Google controls about 90 percent of global web searches.

The company has been bracing for the government’s action and is expected to fiercely oppose any attempt to force it to spin off its services into separate businesses.

The company, based in Mountain View, California, has long denied the claims of unfair competition. Google argues that although its businesses are large, they are useful and beneficial to consumers.

It maintains that its services face ample competition and have unleashed innovations that help people manage their lives.

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Most of its services are offered for free in exchange for personal information that helps Google sell its ads.

Google insists that it holds no special power forcing people to use its free services or preventing them from going elsewhere.


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The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
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