After investigating Google for more than a year, the Justice Department has finally issued its feared antitrust lawsuit against the search giant, alleging that the company is “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States."
This lawsuit in particular has targeted arrangements under which Google’s search application is preloaded, and can’t be deleted, on mobile phones running its popular Android operating system. Google has expanded such agreements over the past year since the Justice Department probe began, the government said.
And yet the lawsuit provided little new hard data on such tie-ups. Alphabet publicly discloses that it pays other companies to funnel in search traffic; analysts estimate that it pays Apple alone around $10 billion a year. The lawsuit cited a note from one senior Apple employee to his Google counterpart: “Our vision is that we work as if we are one company.”
Kent Walker, Google’s chief legal officer said: “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.”
The case is the most aggressive action the U.S. government has taken in decades against any of the technology companies that now buttress a huge portion of the American economy. Actually, the last company that received this level of scrutiny was Microsoft, which began as an investigation in 1992, was filed as a suit in 1997 and finally went into effect (as a settlement) in 2001.
However, some argue that the government action against Bill Gates’ software giant has reshaped the technology industry and set the stage for Google and its peers to flourish. Now, ironically, it’s Google’s turn in the monopoly hot seat.
Since 2012, Alphabet’s value has skyrocketed to reach over $1 trillion (as of today’s share price) Mr. Kent Walker said that, if successful, the lawsuit would result in higher prices for consumers because Google would have to raise the cost of its mobile software and hardware.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, holds a commanding lead in both search and video. The company dominates the search market — with roughly 90% of the world’s internet searches conducted on its platform — and roughly three quarters of American adults turn to YouTube for video, as The Wall Street Journal reported.
«-Billions, Trillions & Quadrillions-»
The Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both now billionaires who gave up their management roles last year. Handing the reins solely to Sundar Pichai. A soft-spoken, India-born engineer who earlier in his career was who helped present Google’s antitrust complaints about Microsoft to regulators.
Google is not the only one catching the attention of Washington. Earlier in October, the House Judiciary Committee released a report of more than 400 pages in which it outlined how tech giants Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and Facebook were abusing of their power. And covering everything from these areas in which they all dominate, through to suggestions for how to fix the current situation (including curtailing their acquisitions strategy).
While a number of tech leviathans are facing increasing scrutiny from Washington, with the U.S. now just two weeks from Election Day, it’s unlikely that we are going to see many developments around this and other cases before then.
And in the case of this specific Google suit, in the eventual event that Trump doesn’t get re-elected, there will also be a larger personnel shift at the DoJ that could also change the profile and timescale of the case.
The case could take years to resolve, and the responsibility for managing the suit will fall to appointees of the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
So, in my opinion, the suit is seen by some as a stunt near the election. As one of a multi-part push to change the face of the technology industry, which has seen its wealth and power expand in recent years. For example, technology companies now constitute nearly 40% of the value of the S&P 500, ahead of a 1999-era 37% share. According to The Wall Street Journal.
An interesting 2020 so far isn't it?
Haha yeah. And now I wonder something my dear colleague from the blockchain.
How would you envision the very next close Great Reset and how would you shape cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies after the upcoming November the third? Would you dare to paint us the New Normal for average Joes after that date?