The Justice Department accused Google on Tuesday of illegally protecting its monopoly over search and search advertising, the government's most significant challenge to a tech company's market power in a generation and one that could reshape the way consumers use the internet.
In a much-anticipated lawsuit, the agency accused Google of locking up deals with giant partners like Apple and throttling competition through exclusive business contracts and agreements.
Google's deals with Apple, mobile carriers and other handset makers to make its search engine the default option for users accounted for most of its dominant market share in search, the agency said, a figure that it put at around 80 percent.
"For many years," the agency said in its 57-page complaint, "Google has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising and general search text advertising — the cornerstones of its empire."
The lawsuit, which may stretch on for years, could set off a cascade of other antitrust lawsuits from state attorneys general. About four dozen states and jurisdictions, including New York and Texas, have conducted parallel investigations and some of them are expected to bring separate complaints against the company's grip on technology for online advertising. Eleven state attorneys general, all Republicans, signed on to support the federal lawsuit.
From The New York Times
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