The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its antitrust lawsuit against Google yesterday, and Google released its response. Spoiler: the company is not happy.
Google released a statement October 20 expressing outrage at the lawsuit, describing the suit as “deeply flawed.”
“People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives,” argued Google. The statement went on to say that “the Department’s complaint relies on dubious antitrust arguments to criticize our efforts to make Google Search easily available to people.”
The statement then used a series of images and even GIFs to show users how to change browsers on their devices, in an attempt to demonstrate that consumers use Google “because they choose to.”
The DOJ opened an antitrust investigation into Google in the summer of 2019, and have now accused the company of anticompetitve practices. Specifically, the complaint alleged that Google is “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices.” The United States Department of Justice and 11 states have sought a remedy from the court to the effects of this conduct.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed their support for the DOJ’s lawsuit. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) told The Washington Post, “I think it underscores again the importance of Congress to conduct its policymaking responsibilities, to move forward with a set of recommendations.”
Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) called the lawsuit “the most important antitrust case in a generation” in a statement released on Twitter.
Although Google will undoubtedly put up a fight against the antitrust lawsuit, for now, it appears that the DOJ is at least attempting to protect consumers and free speech.
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