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Google ‘MONOPOLY’ slammed by Justice Department in Anti-Trust lawsuit

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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.”

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.

Justice Department AntiTrust Suit On Google

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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Chevron downsizes global San Fran headquarters, paying for employees to move to Texas office

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Oil giant Chevron made a huge announcement saying it will be closing its current global headquarters in San Ramon, California. Even more telling, its encouraging employees to move to Houston, Texas.

The San Francisco Gate reported “the oil company will cover relocation costs for those voluntarily leaving for the Texas office, which has been growing and employs nearly 6,000 people. Meanwhile, the San Ramon office buildings have experienced dwindling numbers in recent years.”

Although the company is not leaving the state completely, “company leadership has pushed for a permanent move to Texas in the past” adds SFGATE. Chevron, which has had “deep roots” in California going back to the late 1800s, will vacate its 100-acre campus in 2023.

The Wall Street Journal reports the business hopes to move into a smaller space in San Ramon, which will remain its headquarters. A company spokesperson told SFGATE “the current real estate market provides the opportunity to right-size our office space to meet the requirements of our headquarters-based employee population.”

“The move is expected to occur during the third quarter of 2023” they continued. “Chevron will remain headquartered in California, where the company has a 140-year history and operations and partnerships throughout the state.”

The SFGATE notes Chevron is one of “the East Bay’s legacy companies joining the trend” to move their headquarters out of the area in recent years. Tech companies such as startups like Coinbase to industry pioneers like Hewlett Packard and Oracle have all vacated, with Elon Musk having been “one particularly outspoken voice decrying California’s business conditions.”

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