The Justice Department slammed Silicon Valley tech giant Google Tuesday in a much anticipated anti-trust lawsuit that claims the technological behemoth monopolizes the Internet and shuts out competitors.
The case was filed in the federal court in Washington, D.C., and alleges, among many issues, that “Google’s practices are anticompetitive under long-established antitrust law. Almost 20 years ago, the D.C. Circuit in United States v. Microsoft recognized that Google’s practices are anticompetitive under long-established antitrust law.”
Moreover, the lawsuit shows that “Google is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.” These revelations are important because “Google engages in, and its activities substantially affect, interstate trade and commerce. Google provides a range of products and services that are marketed, distributed, and offered to consumers throughout the United States, in the plaintiff States, across state lines, and internationally.”
Justice Department officials note in the antitrust suit that although Google was the “darling of Silicon Valley” two decades ago that company no-longer really exists.
“The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet, and one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, with a market value of $1 trillion and annual revenue exceeding $160 billion,” the antitrust suit states. “For many years, Google has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising—the cornerstones of its empire.”
Google’s chief legal officer Kent Walker told The Wall Street Journal in a statement that “people use Google because they choose to—not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives. Like countless other businesses, we pay to promote our services, just like a cereal brand might pay a supermarket to stock its products at the end of a row or on a shelf at eye level.”
However, the Justice Department’s lawsuit points out that Google doesn’t leave any room for completion.
As for the anti-trust suit, the DOJ revealed that Google’s exclusionary agreements cover just under 60 percent of all general search queries. But get this, the show evidence, that the other half of “the remaining queries are funneled through Google owned-and- operated properties (e.g., Google’s browser, Chrome).
Therefore, “between its exclusionary contracts and owned-and-operated properties, Google effectively owns or controls search distribution channels accounting for roughly 80 percent of the general search queries in the United States. Largely as a result of Google’s exclusionary agreements and anticompetitive conduct, Google in recent years has accounted for nearly 90 percent of all general-search-engine queries in the United States, and almost 95 percent of queries on mobile devices.”
In September of last year, over forty Forty state attorney generals signed onto an antitrust investigation of Google. It was one of the biggest investigations into a corporation in modern times and it relied on former Google employees, turned whistleblowers, say it is an imperative step in the right direction.
In August 2019, Google former senior engineer turned whistleblower, Zachary Vorhies, came forward. He told SaraACarter.com and Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe that Google created algorithms to hide its political bias within artificial intelligence platforms. What he said was that the company targeted particular words, phrases and contexts in an effort to promote, alter, reference or manipulate perceptions of Internet content. SaraACarter.com was able to verify that Vorhies delivered roughly 950 pages of documents to the Department of Justice’s Antitrust division in August.
“It’s pretty big and they have all the data I have given them and I’m sure they have been going through it,” said Vorhies on Monday. “I feel first off a bit of relief because this is exactly what I exactly what would happen.”
Vorhies said the state attorney generals “need to look at Google bias in real time news feeds. It appears that Google gives certain media companies special access to actually bias the news results towards establishment players in the political field. This is dangerous because this effects not just the big political races but likely can effect smaller political state races.”
Vorhies said he “hope’s what comes of this is that the government is going to start digging using the information I provided as a starting point for electronic discovery. Just to show the impact I believe this is happening.”
Vorhies, and other whistleblowers like him, have certainly opened up Pandora’s box on the tech giants.
Like the Justice Department lawsuit alleges it appears that the Google monopoly “has thus foreclosed competition for internet search. General search engine competitors are denied vital distribution, scale, and product recognition—ensuring they have no real chance to challenge Google.”
“Google is so dominant that “Google” is not only a noun to identify the company and the Google search engine but also a verb that means to search the internet,” the antitrust suit states.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.
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TX Federal Judge takes ‘extraordinary’ step to ‘fast track’ ruling on Biden’s student loan forgiveness, forego trial
Just The News reported on an “extraordinary move” by one Texas judge who is prepared to cancel President Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness payments.
U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman, a Trump appointee, says he is ready to decide the merits of Biden’s plan and skip the preliminary injunction and customary trial.
“U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman had been holding a hearing on a request from the small business group Job Creators Network’s legal arm on behalf of two plaintiffs to issue a preliminary injunction blocking Biden from enacting the debt relief until the legality of his executive order was decided” Just The News reports.
However, Pittman declared “in a five-sentence, one-page order that the government and plaintiff lawyers had made all the necessary arguments and that a trial would not elicit further evidence so he is ready to move to a judgement on the merits of the case.”
“Having held a hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction and reviewed the related briefing, the Court intends to consolidate as it appears that the Parties have presented their case and no evidence of significance would be forthcoming at trial,” wrote Pittman.
Pittman said he was prepared to advance the preliminary objection request “to a determination on the merits” and gave the Justice Department and plaintiff lawyers until Friday to file any objections to his plan.
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