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Justice Dept To Unveil Antitrust Charges Against Google Later This Month: NYT

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Justice Dept To Unveil Antitrust Charges Against Google Later This Month: NYT

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) subsidiary Google may face an antitrust case brought on by the Justice Department as soon as this month, the New York Times reported Thursday.

What Happened: Attorney General William Barr dismissed urgings of career lawyers who pitched for more time to build a strong case against the search and advertising titan, according to the Times.

The nearly 40 lawyers involved in the antitrust investigation against Google reportedly opposed the end-September deadline set by Barr.

There is said to be disagreement in the legal team over the scope of the complaint and the steps the search engine giant could take to address the issues uncovered by the government.

A grouping of 50 states and territories support antitrust action against the Sundar Pichai-led company.

While there is broad bipartisan agreement on the matter, Democrats are reportedly perceived to be moving slow on the case so that it could be brought under a future Biden administration, while Democrats are accusing the Republicans of rushing it under Trump, the Times noted.

Barr has placed the Google investigation under Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy attorney general who was the lead counsel for Netscape Communications when it filed an antitrust case against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) in 2002, the Times reported.

Why It Matters: Alphabet has emerged as a leviathan that spans search, video streaming, advertising and many other areas.

The company controls 90% of web searches globally and earns nearly one-third of every dollar spent on online advertising, according to the Times.

In late July, CEOs of Alphabet, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) faced questions during a congressional antitrust hearing and pleaded their cases claiming they were not operating as monopolies.

Pichai said at the hearing, “Just like other businesses, we try to understand trends from data which we can see and we use it to improve our product for our users.”

Price Action: Alphabet Class A shares closed nearly 5.1% lower at $1,629.51 on Thursday and fell another 0.6% in the after-hours session, while Class C shares closed 5% lower at $1,641.84 and declined another 0.9% in the after-hours session.

 

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