Google Faces Antitrust Lawsuit By DOJ and State Attorneys General Over Alleged Anticompetitive Practices in Search and Search Advertising

The next few years are shaping up to be a watershed period for the antitrust laws, especially as they relate to giant internet and hardware companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.  Shortly after Congress released a damning report on the state of big tech late last year, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and several state Attorneys General filed a lawsuit against Google—the “gatekeeper of the Internet”—alleging that it has “used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in search and search advertising.”  The Complaint alleges that Google engaged in a broad array of misconduct, including: 

•    Exclusivity agreements that prohibit preinstallation of competing search services; 
•    Tying arrangements that force preinstallation of Google’s search applications on mobile devices; 
•    Agreements with Apple that require Google to be the default search engine on Apple’s Safari web browser; 
•    “Generally using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers, and other search access points, creating a
      continuous and self-reinforcing cycle of monopolization.” 

The allegations are eerily similar to the DOJ’s antitrust case against Microsoft in the late 1990s, which involved allegations that Microsoft illegally bundled its Internet Explorer web browser with its Windows operating system.  The Google case is currently before Hon. Amit P. Mehta in the District of Columbia.  Antitrust cases are fact-intensive and usually involve heavy discovery, so the public should not expect a quick resolution.  Trial is tentatively scheduled for September 2023.  

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About David Calvello

David Calvello is a Senior Associate in Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP's New York office. He mainly practices in the area of antitrust litigation with a focus on competition in the pharmaceutical industry. He has worked on multiple cases that resulted in significant settlements, including In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation, 14-md-02521 (N.D. Cal.) ($166M settlement) and In re Solodyn Antitrust Litigation, 14-md-02503 (D. Mass.) ($76M settlement).

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Senior Associate at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

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