Lawmakers hail DOJ antitrust lawsuit against Google as 'long overdue'

“Long overdue” is an understatement.

Published 5 hours ago

Lawmakers hail DOJ antitrust lawsuit against Google as ‘long overdue’

Sen. Hawley called it ‘the most important antitrust case in a generation’

By Adam Shaw | Fox News

Google accused of censoring conservative websites

GOP senators propose new big tech legislation; reaction and analysis on ‘The Five.’

Lawmakers in the House and Senate on Tuesday welcomed the Justice Department’s (DOJ’s) move to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google that claims the tech behemoth used its power to preserve its monopoly via its search engine.

"Today’s lawsuit is the most important antitrust case in a generation,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said in a statement. “Google and its fellow Big Tech monopolists exercise unprecedented power over the lives of ordinary Americans, controlling everything from the news we read to the security of our most personal information. And Google in particular has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means.”

STOCKS RISE ON STIMULUS HOPES, GOOGLE SHRUGS OFF DOJ ANTITRUST ACTION

The DOJ suit alleges that Google has used its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost profits. The suit could be an opening shot in a battle against a number of Big Tech companies in the coming months. . . . .

. . . “The Subcommittee’s investigation uncovered extensive evidence showing that Google maintained and extended its monopoly to harm competition,” he said in a statement. “It is critical that the Justice Department’s lawsuit focuses on Google’s monopolization of search and search advertising, while also targeting the anti-competitive business practices Google is using to leverage this monopoly into other areas, such as maps, browsers, video, and voice assistants.”

The lawsuit alleges that Google used billions of dollars from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers.

“For a general search engine, by far the most effective means of distribution is to be the preset default general search engine for mobile and computer search access points,” the lawsuit says. “Even where users can change the default, they rarely do. This leaves the preset default search engine with de facto exclusivity.” . .

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Long overdue indeed. The argument was that Russia was able to change the election in 2026 because of bots in Facebook.

Now we have the oligarchs of silicone valley using their power to influence the elections. We are fighting the Rich people wars for them.

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Rockoh22 . . .

Now we have the oligarchs of silicone valley using their power to influence the elections. We are fighting the Rich people wars for them.

True enough Rockoh22.

It is even worse. As @ThinkingSapien has reminded me before (saying how hard it would be to anti-trust them because they go beyond America), these tech communications giants
are really international corporations!

That suggests Facebook, Google/Youtube, Twitter etc. attempting swaying the election against Republicans and especially against conservatives (but most of all, against President Trump) would really constitute . . .

. . . Foreign election interference!

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Google’s public response to the claims against them:

A deeply flawed lawsuit that would do nothing to help consumers

Google Search has put the world’s information at the fingertips of over a billion people. Our engineers work to offer the best search engine possible, constantly improving and fine-tuning it. We think that’s why a wide cross-section of Americans value and often love our free products.

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.

The Department’s dubious complaint

Let’s talk specifics. The Department’s complaint relies on dubious antitrust arguments to criticize our efforts to make Google Search easily available to people.

Yes, like countless other businesses, we pay to promote our services, just like a cereal brand might pay a supermarket to stock its products at the end of a row or on a shelf at eye level. For digital services, when you first buy a device, it has a kind of home screen “eye level shelf.” On mobile, that shelf is controlled by Apple, as well as companies like AT&T, Verizon, Samsung and LG. On desktop computers, that shelf space is overwhelmingly controlled by Microsoft.

So, we negotiate agreements with many of those companies for eye-level shelf space. But let’s be clear—our competitors are readily available too, if you want to use them.

Our agreements with Apple and other device makers and carriers are no different from the agreements that many other companies have traditionally used to distribute software. Other search engines, including Microsoft’s Bing, compete with us for these agreements. And our agreements have passed repeated antitrust reviews.

Here’s more detail:

[Continues at the following link.]

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Thanks for giving us Big Corporate’s perspective here @ThinkingSapien.

If CAF acted like those guys, your post might be allowed here.

When the Europeans brought anti-trust law suits against Google, Google probably cried out in the same way.

But then they lost. And lost. And lost.

Google hit with €1.5 billion antitrust fine by EU

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The third antitrust fine the European Union has levied against the US tech giant

By James Vincent Mar 20, 2019, 7:11am EDT

Google has been hit with a new antitrust fine from the European Union totaling €1.5 billion.

In a press conference this morning, EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that the tech giant had abused its dominant position by forcing customers of its AdSense business to sign contracts stating they would not accept advertising from rival search engines. Said Vestager: “The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate.”

GOOGLE HAS BEEN FINED $9.3 BILLION BY THE EU OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS

The fine is the third major penalty the EU has levied against the tech giant in as many years, and closes its last open probe of the firm. Google was fined a record €4.3 billion last year for abusing its market dominance in mobile, and €2.4 billion the year before that for manipulating shopping search results. Google is currently appealing both cases.

With the new penalty, Google’s total EU antitrust bill now stands at €8.2 billion ($9.3 billion). Today’s fine was lower than the previous two as Google actively worked with the European Commission to change its AdSense policies after the EU announced its case in 2016.

The policy under scrutiny dates back to 2006. Then, Google started selling customers its AdSense for Search product. This let companies like retailers and newspapers place a Google search box on their website. When visitors used the search box, Google showed them ads and split the commission with the website’s owners.

But, Google also made customers sign contracts forbidding them from including rival search engines on their sites alongside Google’s own. . . .

I’ve used Google and Google Translator for over 25 years. It became a standard just like the Intel chip. Never had problems with it.

But along comes the government…

But what if somebody’s not like you?

What if somebody is different and wants different programs available in that context?

Or what if Google keeps stomping on small business entrepreneurs that dare offer some competition to them?

Then what?

Or what if Google gets so big, they control public opinion to a significant extent?

Or be able to disproportionately easily help themselves to taxpayer monies due to their inflated influence?

And what if they peddle that influence among politicians to favor themselves and take money away from tax payers (via taxbreaks) thus passing on the tax revenue need gap to small businesses at least to some extent?

Or take away homes from little old ladies using or misusing eminent domain laws to get a location they want?

Or what if they use their power to find and create legal loopholes to kick you off of your land if you are a native (say a native Hawaiian) and TAKE your land that you have had for as many generations as you can recall. And now if you dare to go on YOUR land, security guards stop you, the police come and threaten or even arrest you and jail you for being on your ancestors land?

What if they get so big, that they tell their coalminers, er ah, I mean emloyees, that they MUST BUY from a Corporate Mining Company grocery store (I mean an “approved” business) or else they will lose their job? Or use Google credit cards? Or buy Google Cars in 10 years from now?

Now what?

There is always Bing/Azure.

Right now, I’m interested in the Oracle vs Google copyright case for the Java APIs. After 10 years of litigation I think it is approaching the finishing line. If a decision is made the impact on the software industry is significant.

But if the Microsoft Antitrust case is any indicator, USA v Google has lots of time in front of it. It went from 1998 to 2011 before it ended with a settlement.

Byw: I found this audio interview with the Arkansas Attorney General to be interesting. I also don’t think she was the best person for the case.

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/21/926051591/antitrust-suit-accuses-google-of-abusing-its-dominance-over-rivals

This whole storm in a teacup reminds me of the accusations against Walmart, for killing the old mom-and-pop stores. Of course that was not true either. The consumers killed them, when they voluntarily chose Walmart over the competition. Walmart delivers superior products at lower prices, so we ALL benefit from their presence.

Google presents an excellent search capability, but there are other companies and other products, too. The consumer “votes” with their purse, not some lawmaker decides what is good for you.

The only way to fight against Google, is to develop and present a superior search engine.

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The only thing I have found that Bing does superior to Google is a search on “corona data”

Google you get this:

Bing you get this:


Microsoft does a wonderful job

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You mean like 10^100?

At least they’ve lived up to their name.

Or did they break some copyright law?

Also provides excellent filters so you don’t get unwanted information.

I’ll let the courts hash this one out.
I agree, Google is big but I’m not sure how monopolistic it is. There are competitors in Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc. Are we supposed to punish a company because it becomes huge because it is the best out there and everyone uses and loves it? However, if it is shown to be crushing its competition with unfair practices, I definitely want that to end.

If Republicans are looking to punish large tech for “censoring” conservative speech and drooling over the money that Google has… they are looking in the wrong place as I see it. Or, is their plan merely to break up large tech companies? One problem is that there are very few politicians that understand big tech in the first place.

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That is going to be hard to prove in court IMHO.

I see it as Barr doing Trump’s bidding. I see it failing in Court.

I would say zero politicians.

No, there are a few. Unfortunately, Brianna Woo wasn’t elected last cycle but if she gets in, she knows her stuff. She’s also a developer and gamer. There are a couple of others that are in the legal and political sphere but I agree, they’re hard to find.

Remember the embarrassment of Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the senate and about half of them asked tech support questions! They had no clue. There really needs to be specialists on the tech industry on tech committees! Luddites will continue to fail to understand any legislation that’s actually needed and could work.:joy:

I don’t have an opinion on the antitrust part, but this is actually a good way to describe what google does in the mobile and desktop space.

The technology hearings have quite a number of moments like that. I remember the CEO of Google being asked about a capability of his iPhone. Made me feel like that he did not quite understand which company is responsible for which products.

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Yes! Nor do they understand how social media works, search engines and algorithms nor even how these companies are actually competing with each other! :triumph::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::face_with_raised_eyebrow:

This is a new monopoly that has way too much power. People say that we have Bing and duck duck go. Which is true, however there many factors to be considered.

Data. Who owns the data? we search with Duck Duck go, but the data can be owned by Google. Take YouTube. We look for YouTube videos a lot. Well, that is google.

Google is preinstalled on our devices from factory. Many people use google because it is what the phone or computer has set to preference.

Google, owns many companies, and it is a good service. But it is because of this that what they are doing is bad for individuals and bad for democracy.

The tactics google uses to suppress voices they do not like are hidden from us, and can sway not only elections but also the society.

The influence google has the power to sway policy, or send us to war.

It has been long overdue, to get ahead of the curve with Silicon Valley. Google does not have the best interest of the people, google has the best interest of the CEO’s and oligarchs.

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Which will boil down whom has the best lawyers and witnesses in a court of law. DOJ will look inept to say the least.

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