In response to the DOJ, Google is monopolizing search. Right here is how.


Building and maintaining such a search index would require a "billions of dollars upfront investment" and hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance costs per year, effectively excluding smaller competitors from entering the market.

The alleged monopoly of search by Google also reinforces Google's ability to get a superior product. It dominates the amount of data collected, and its larger amounts of data can be used to create more accurate algorithms, which in turn leads to better search results that are tailored to each individual user. According to the DOJ, this cycle strengthens Google's dominance and unfairly protects it from competition.

An advertising monopoly

According to the lawsuit, Google has also monopolized online search ads. Its search monopoly gives it access to the largest potential audience for advertisers, making it by far the most attractive option. The lawsuit particularly points out the attractiveness of text and shopping ads, both of which appear higher than organic search results.

The online search advertising industry has grown to $ 50 billion, of which advertisers pay Google around $ 40 billion annually.

What the DOJ wants to do

Despite these allegations, the Justice Department is not specifically attempting to break into Google or impose any specific fines. Rather, it calls for "structural relief as needed to heal anti-competitive damage". At a press conference, DoJ officials stated that investigations into other tech companies were ongoing and that further charges against Google had not been ruled out.

A few hours after the lawsuit was filed, the company called the lawsuit "deeply flawed" in a statement posted on its blog.

"Users use Google because they choose, not because they are forced to do so or because they cannot find alternatives," the statement said. “This lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. On the contrary, it would artificially support lower quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it difficult for people to get the search services they want to use. "

This isn't the first time Google has been scrutinized by US regulators, and it probably won't be the last. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission investigated the company before finally dropping the case without charge. In Europe, it has been the target of three separate antitrust lawsuits since 2010, resulting in fines of $ 9 billion.

What now? The DOJ's lawsuit itself will likely take years to go to court. A lawsuit against IBM in the 1970s lasted 13 years; a lawsuit against Microsoft in 1997 lasted five years. In no case were the companies forced to separate.


Steven Gregory