Last week, it was reported that a Justice Department lawsuit claims that Google paid Apple billions to be the iPhone’s default search engine, and for many in the tech industry, the new was a known quantity.
However, as the combination progresses through its phases, we should uncover even more insight into how Google has maintained its stronghold on both mobile and desktop search and how the Previous attempts to tackle the company’s sprawling presence have unraveled.
While Google appears to be under constant antitrust investigation, in 2017 the company suffered its first blow following a loss at the hands of the European Commission which fined the giant €2.4 billion. research and advertising (about $2.7 billion). The EU’s June 2017 decision represented the largest fine ever imposed by the commission.
Google fought the decision and delayed a final decision on appeal, which was ultimately rejected by the General Court of the EU in 2021. Google has still not paid the 2.4 billion euros (about 2.7 billion dollars) and will likely appeal to the Court of Justice to continue to protect his payment.
France sued Google earlier in 2021 and imposed a fine of 220 million euros ($270 million) which Google is also appealing.
The EU has also started talks about opening another investigation into Google’s handling of the Android smartphone operating system in the market, and as we can see the company is developing quite a reputation in Europe. , on the other hand, the United States has only recently begun investigating its activities, but is rapidly catching up with the number of investigations it has already launched.
According to the law firm Lanier, which represents the state of Texas against Google, there are currently two other cases against Googe led by a coalition of 30 states and the attorneys general of Nebraska and Colorado, as well as a lawsuit in Texas with another coalition. of the state effort of 10 groups.
The two previous antitrust lawsuits add to the recent DOJ lawsuit, but allege a very similar pattern of anti-competitive business practices such as “Google has changed the presentation of its search results over the years to direct searchers first to its own properties (e.g. Google Hotels, Google Flights) and placed other vertical search companies lower on the results pages.”
Lanier Law Firm has its own set of claims which include:
Looking at current antitrust cases against Google, there is specific evidence that points to anti-competitive activity.
One such example is Google’s deal with phone makers like Apple, exchanging monetary compensation (up to $12 billion a year) for maintaining status as the default search engine for Apple’s smartphones.
Another example of anti-competitive behavior is Google’s active efforts to crowd out organic search results with increasing frequency of ad placement. This reduces the user experience on Google Search by placing advertisers ahead of top-ranked businesses due to the quality of their content, products, or services.
All of these anti-competitive market practices combined have led to multiple lawsuits against the tech giant.
Admittedly, we’re still in the early stages of these leads, and the DOJ’s lawsuit against Google isn’t expected to begin until next year, but if a ruling is made in favor of the DOJ in the case, it’ll be interesting to see how severe the fine is and what disruption it will cause to the billion dollar companies built on the back of Google.