Several US states to back DOJ's antitrust lawsuit against Google
A week ago, it was reported that the US Department of Justice is planning to bring an antitrust lawsuit against Google. Now, Bloomberg's sources suggest that the case is set to get a major push, with a number of US states likely to join the lawsuit, making it the most significant antitrust action against a big tech company in over two decades. Here's more.
The antitrust case in question stems from DOJ's year-long investigation into Google's sprawling search and advertising business. The specifics remain unknown, but it is widely speculated that the lawsuit could challenge the internet giant for promoting its own products over rival offerings. Reportedly, Attorney General William Barr is pushing to announce the case in September, even as lawyers suggest rushing will strengthen Google's side.
Speaking to multiple people familiar with the investigation, Bloomberg has learned that about a dozen, mostly Republican states that have been probing Google's business lines in parallel could join the DOJ lawsuit. The exact list of the states is not clear, but Texas is expected to come on board as it prepares its own separate complaint against the Sundar Pichai-led company.
Now, the joining of these many states is sure to give DOJ's lawsuit a major push, but it is not yet final who will be signing on the case. The full complaint is yet to be presented to the states, and once that happens, it will become clear who will sign and who will not. Some might even join after the case is filed.
One point that may lead to some states backing out could be the inclusion of Android in the search and advertising-related matter. Many think it would make the case broad. That being said, regardless of who signs, the states are likely to continue their own investigations, especially those focusing on other aspects of Google's business, and bring their own cases against the company.
Last time a case of this scale was filed against a big tech company was way back in 1998 when DC and 19 other states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. The action resulted in several changes in Microsoft's business, however not all that consequential.