It seems to be open season on tech companies in the US, big or small, and it’s no surprise that the biggest ones are in the government’s crosshair. While Facebook’s election scandal hasn’t exactly been closed fully, the US has launched several actions to ban several Chinese companies and start new investigations into the app store business. Google has almost been always involved in these, one way or another, but it might soon be the sole focus of the US Department of Justice’s next lawsuit this September.
There has never been a time when Google has not been accused of one anti-competitive practice or another and has even faced several antitrust lawsuits, especially in Europe. Such a lawsuit has always been in the US’ plans but there might now be a rush to file that lawsuit as soon as possible.
The Washington Post suggests there is a trace of political motivation in the DOJ’s attempts to move up the schedule against multiple advice not to. The Trump administration might be eager to add a lawsuit, not to mention a conviction, against Google to its list of achievements before the 202 presidential election happens. It might, however, end up being a disaster if the opinions of Attorney General William Barr’s own colleagues are any indication.
Although most of the US’s states do support an antitrust lawsuit against Google, there are those that feel the government is not yet ready to successfully make its case. The filing would be premature, according to other state attorney’s and DOJ’s own attorneys, and the case could end up letting Google off the hook instead. There is a risk that Barr’s lawsuit would not garner enough support from all the states, though support for or against the filing could be split between party lines, as always.
Google has actually been under investigation since last year over antitrust concerns and potential violations regarding Search and Ads, the company’s core businesses. State attorneys, however, have been in disagreement over which of these two focus on, leading to delays in filing any lawsuit at all.