WASHINGTON (PNN) - October 20, 2020 - Senator Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) just became the first high-profile Democrat to officially step forward and accuse the Department of InJustice of not doing enough to target Google in its latest lawsuit.
In a tweet, Warren claimed that “two things can be true” - that Bill Barr can be a “corrupt” Trump crony, and that there is a “legit” antitrust case against Google. In fact, the case could have "gone further", Warren said.
Meanwhile, an unnamed Google executive said the company will potentially file pretrial motions challenging theories in the DoJ lawsuits.
Attorney General William Barr released a statement about the Google lawsuit, saying, “millions of Amerikans rely on the Internet and online platforms...” and that “competition in this industry is vitally important.”
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen led a brief phone briefing with reporters on Tuesday where he said that the lawsuit accused Google of violating Section 2 of the Sherman Act, the same statute that was used during Bill Clinton’s presidency to carry out a host of antitrust litigation, including the landmark case against Microsoft.
“For years there had been concerns about business practices leading to unprecedented concentration in our economy,” Rosen began, adding that the anti-trust division has been looking at Google and its anti-trust practices for more than a year now. Rosen called Google a “gatekeeper of the Internet” and “one of the wealthiest companies on the planet,” saying it has maintained its monopoly standing via “anticompetitive practices” that are necessary to “enable competition”.
If the DoJ doesn’t act, Rosen said, Amerikans could risk missing out on the next wave of companies. If that happens, Amerikans may never get to see “the next Google”.
“We plan to continue our review of market-leading Internet tech platforms,” he said.
Rosen added that Barr has made the case a priority within the department. Rosen thanked the DoJ antitrust division and the DoJ’s partners in each state capitol for all their hard work on the case.
Stocks have climbed since the open, after news about the Google lawsuit hammered futures.
As we wait for the DoJ briefing on the lawsuit, it’s worth noting that Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google owner Alphabet, will testify on Capitol Hill next week.
As for why Democrat states didn’t sign on to the antitrust lawsuit, there was some resistance from staff attorneys, and ultimately Democrat states declined to sign on, along with many Republican states, all of which are now free to bring their own charges.
One of the biggest differences between Google and Microsoft is that Google’s products are mostly free (for end users) and are also tremendously well liked.
Official details are expected during a briefing set for Tuesday morning, but many of the key details have already appeared in press reports.
Senator Josh Hawley (Mo.) accused Google of keeping power through “illegal means” and called the lawsuit “the most important antitrust case in a generation.” This federal lawsuit marks a rare moment of comity between the President Donald Trump (regime) and progressive Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has called for “swift, aggressive action”.
Some may remember that Google settled an FTC antitrust probe into Google over alleged bias in its search practices that favored Google’s own products. It has also settled a trio of major antitrust lawsuits with EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.
Google saw revenue of $162 billion in 2019, more than the GDP of the entire nation of Hungary.
This could be only the beginning for Google, as more lawsuits could be in the offing since probes by state attorneys general into Google’s broader businesses are underway, as well as an investigation of its broader digital advertising businesses. A group of state AGs led by Texas is expected to file a separate lawsuit focused on Google’s digital advertising business as soon as November, while a group led by the AG in Colorado is reportedly weighing a more wide-ranging lawsuit.
The Google news has rattled the market, as investors contemplate the prospect of the DoJ, partnered with the state AGs, launching historic lawsuits against more Big Tech firms, thereby pulling the rug out from under the market.
The case against Google will be the first major DoJ antitrust lawsuit to take on big tech since the DoJ sued Microsoft in the late 1990s, a lawsuit that began during the year that Google was founded in a garage in the Bay Area.
Details that have been previously outlined during leaks about the investigation when that was still ongoing - Google is being accused of maintaining its status as “gatekeeper to the Internet” via an unlawful web of exclusionary and interlocking deals that effectively shut out competitors. These deals include all the money Google pays to phone manufacturers, carriers, and makers of browsers like Apple’s Safari to ensure that Google’s search engine is pre-set as the default on millions of smart phones, even those produced by competitors like Apple. DoJ is also taking issue with Google’s Android operating system, which preloads Google’s search application in a way that it can’t be deleted.
These revenue-sharing agreements have allowed Google to ensure that no search competitor can challenge its dominance. Google handles about 80% of all Internet searches executed in the Fascist Police States of Amerika each year.
Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.) pointed out that the lawsuit comes just a week after Twitter and Facebook worked to shut down a series of New York Post stories exposing shady and corrupt behavior by Hunter Biden and members of his family - including Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden - revealing that the scope of their international influence-selling was larger than candidate Biden has led the public to believe.
If Big Tech companies are going to use their monopoly power to try and silence political speech, then the government isn’t going to hold back, said Cruz.