The US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday for violating antitrust laws, alleging an illegal monopoly on the advertising and internet search markets, harming consumers and competition.
“Google is the gateway to the internet and a search advertising giant,” United States Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said at a press conference, quoted by AP.
According to Jeffrey Rosen, Google “maintained its monopoly power through exclusionary practices that are harmful to competition”.
The cases antitrust (related to monopoly practices) in the technology industry need to move quickly, defended the deputy attorney general, adding that if it does not, there is a risk of losing “the next wave of innovation.”
This antitrust lawsuit against Google is the most significant in at least two decades.
The Justice Department’s assistant attorney general explained that the lawsuit indicates that Google supports its role as the “primary custodian of access” to the internet through “an illegal network of exclusive deals that harms competitors,” says the EFE agency.
Among them, the official cited the payment of millions of dollars to Apple to place the Google search engine as the basic in iPhones and the ban on integrating competitors’ engines through special contracts.
The Google responded on the social network Twitter, stating that “the judicial process of the Department of Justice is profoundly weak.”
“People use Google because they want to – not because they are forced or because they can’t find alternatives,” said the company.
The technology giant based in Mountain View, California, a subsidiary of Alphabet, controls about 80% of internet searches in the United States.
In recent years, the technology giants have faced criticism from different governments and blocs, such as the European Union (EU), due to the great power they accumulate, the exorbitant benefits they obtain and the low taxes they pay.
Other large digital conglomerates such as Facebook, Apple or Amazon are under investigation by regulators and legislators , concerned about possible cases of abuse of power.
With the transformation of Google into one of the technology giants, the company has been closely followed by the United States authorities, and the country’s Federal Trade Commission, which also has the authority to investigate monopoly cases, has already carried out investigations around Google , although it ended in 2013 without sufficient evidence.