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Google To Face Second US Antitrust Lawsuit Over Search Engine Dominance: Report

Google To Face Second US Antitrust Lawsuit Over Search Engine Dominance: Report

A bipartisan coalition of states, led by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet, Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google over its dominance in online search, reports Politico.

What Happened: Reportedly, the lawsuit could be filed as soon as Thursday. The complaint alleges that Google has altered its search engine designs to disadvantage rivals that offer specialized search results.

It differs from the antitrust lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against Google in October, over antitrust concerns in exclusive contracts awarded to mobile-phone manufacturers, carriers, and browsers to use Google as their default search engine. 

The new lawsuit could be filed in the same federal court in Washington as the justice department case to consolidate the two cases. DOJ case judge Amit Mehta has scheduled a hearing for Dec. 18 to discuss the case schedule.

It is unclear which states will join the new lawsuit but some states that signed onto the DOJ lawsuit could opt to join, as per Politico.

Related News: Why These Companies Could Benefit From Google's Antitrust Lawsuit

Why It Matters: Google is contesting the DOJ lawsuit. The company's senior vice president for legal affairs, Kent Walker, called the lawsuit "deeply flawed," adding that "people use Google because they want to and not because they're forced to."

Specialized search companies have long criticized Google over allegedly prioritizing its products in search results, which pushes competitors down the page. The companies say they are forced to buy an ad for higher placement or sacrifice losing traffic.

Google has previously argued that its search business is typically free for consumers to use and is therefore not harmful in the way a typical monopoly is.

Silicon Valley giants have been under the scanner lately, with a plethora of antitrust lawsuits against them alleging monopolistic behavior. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) is undergoing lawsuits that could force the social media giant to part with WhatsApp and Instagram.

Price Action: GOOG shares closed 0.44% higher at $1,767.77 on Tuesday.


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