‘This is great’: US lawmakers focus on big technology that is once inaccessible Technology

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General lawyers of more than 30 U.S. states targeted Google this week with a major lawsuit against trust, accusing the tech company of illegally defending a monopoly over the their research industry.

The lawsuit marks the third one against Google in recent months and is the latest in a number of anti-trust actions by U.S. states, the justice department and the Federal Trade Commission. against powerful technology companies that, until recently, looked all-encompassing. Last week, Facebook was also hit by a one-generation lawsuit that could eventually break up the company.

“A number of cases have not been as significant since the 1970s,” said William Kovacic, a professor of law at George Washington University and chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. “This is a big deal.”

Thursday’s lawsuit against Google was filed by attorneys general of 35 states, the District of Columbia and the districts of Guam and Puerto Rico.

They complain that Google maintains “de facto exclusivity” by striking deals with Internet providers and computer companies such as Apple to customize Google’s search engine on as many web browsers as possible. They also allege that Google is engaging in “discriminatory behavior” by limiting the potential of competing search providers such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.

The states are calling for action to be taken to prevent Google from pursuing these malicious practices, including cracking down on the company.

The case comes on the heels of two other major lawsuits against Google, one by the justice department and 11 states filed in October and one by 10 states filed earlier in the week. .

The latest lawsuit alleges that Google maintains 'de facto exclusivity' and engages in 'discriminatory conduct'.

The latest lawsuit alleges that Google maintains ‘de facto exclusivity’ and engages in ‘discriminatory conduct’. Photo: Jeff Chiu / AP

And it follows two long-awaited lawsuits filed by the Federal Trade Commission and 48 states against Facebook last week accusing the social media giant of abusing its power in social networks to spout smaller competitors, and seeking remedies that could include a forced spinoff of Instagram and WhatsApp.

This year’s fiduciary actions marked the first time since the 1998 case against Microsoft that the U.S. government had accused a company of operating a monopoly under the Sherman Act, a law dating back to 1890 encouraging competition between enterprises .

And they marked a remarkable turnaround for Silicon Valley, which years ago had avoided conflicts with Washington even as European rulers broke down.

But this wave of trust issues was unexpected. Tech executives opposed multiple grievances ahead of this year’s U.S. Congress, with concerns about monopolistic behavior emerging in a post-hearing hearing.

Major social media companies such as Twitter, Google, Apple and Facebook came under fire from both Republicans and Democrats, albeit for different reasons.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and others made breaking up major technology a key issue in the 2020 elections and Donald Trump would often criticize tech companies on his Twitter account.

Also important is the approach of states, whose lawsuits have gone beyond those of federal competition enforcement and reduced bold new claims. States across the country are under pressure with differing views on how they believe companies like Google and Facebook are abusing their vast power in ways that can harm other businesses. , innovation and even consumers who see their services as essential.

While the cases against big tech companies are coming up quickly, it will take some time to see any substantive action.

Court dates for the Justice Department case have been set indefinitely for September 2023, a judge said at a hearing Friday. Once the case goes to court it could last anywhere from five to 12 weeks, lawyers involved estimated. This means that it will be years before we even see the case being argued, let alone Google or Facebook canceling or breaking down its subsidiaries.

Mark Zuckerberg will speak at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on trust, commercial and administrative law, on Capitol Hill, July 29th.

Mark Zuckerberg will speak at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on trust, commercial and administrative law, on Capitol Hill, July 29th. Photo: Reuters

Google on Thursday denied that it has a monopoly in the search space, arguing that courts in other countries have dismissed such allegations in previous cases. The company plans to fight the case in court, Adam Cohen, Google’s director of Economic Policy, said in a statement.

“We know that auditing large companies is important and we are willing to answer questions and work through the issues,” Cohen said. “But this lawsuit seeks to redesign Research in ways that would deprive Americans of useful information and hurt the ability of businesses to connect directly with customers.”

But some Google competitor companies named in the suit welcomed him.

The review site Yelp praised Thursday’s action, saying Google had long been using its online dominance to keep users in a “walled garden” of Google results.

“We hope that today’s action will begin to restore an internet that thrives on merit and rewards innovation,” Yelp said in a statement.

The travel site Tripadvisor also suggested the issue, known as “consumer win”.

“[The charges] provides a framework for meaningful action to stop Google from taking advantage of its gateway position to take advantage of its proprietary services and increase its profits at the expense of competition and users, ” said Seth Kalvert, senior vice president of Tripadvisor and general council.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.