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Biden administration continues Trump antitrust focus on tech giants

The U.S. Justice Department sued Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday, marking the third antitrust lawsuit filed against a tech giant since the Trump administration kicked off investigations of the platforms and the Biden administration pledged to press on with the probes.

January 25, 2023
25 January 2023

Jan 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department sued
Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday, marking the third
antitrust lawsuit filed against a tech giant since the Trump
administration kicked off investigations of the platforms and
the Biden administration pledged to press on with the probes.

Following are major U.S. government lawsuits and
investigations regarding Big Tech.

Google:

The U.S. Justice Department sued Google on Tuesday, accusing
the company of abusing its dominance of the digital advertising
business and saying Google should be forced to sell its ad
manager suite, in the government’s latest attempt to slice away
a portion of Big Tech’s power.

The U.S. Justice Department had previously sued Google in
October 2020, accusing the $1 trillion company of illegally
using its market muscle to hobble rivals in search. This case is
scheduled to go to trial in September.

Dozens of U.S. states and territories filed a broader
version of the Justice Department lawsuit in December 2020. The
state complaint accuses Google of abusing its market power to
try to make its search engine as dominant inside cars, TVs and
speakers as it is in phones. The same judge is hearing both the
federal and state lawsuits in D.C. federal court.

Also in 2020, Texas, backed by nine other states, filed a
lawsuit against Google, accusing the internet search company of
breaking antitrust law in how it runs its online advertising
business. The case was moved to New York, to be heard with
other, similar cases.

The Justice Department is also probing Google to determine
if bundling its Maps product with other Google software
illegally stifles competition.

Facebook:

The Federal Trade Commission and a big group of states filed
separate lawsuits to ask a court to force Meta Platforms
to sell WhatsApp and Instagram, saying the social media
company used a “buy or bury” strategy to snap up rivals and keep
smaller competitors at bay. The judge threw out the state
lawsuit on the grounds that they had waited too long to bring
their case. The states have appealed while the FTC complaint
goes forward.

Apple:

The Justice Department has a probe into Apple
underway, which was revealed in June 2019. It appears to focus
on Apple’s app store. Some app developers have accused Apple of
introducing new products very similar to existing apps created
by other developers and sold in the Apple Store, and then trying
to banish the older apps from the store because they compete
with Apple’s new product. Apple says it seeks to have only the
highest-quality products in the app store.

Amazon:

In its investigation of Amazon, the FTC is believed
to be probing the inherent conflict of interest of Amazon
competing with small sellers on its marketplace platform,
including allegations that it used information from sellers on
its platform to decide what products it would introduce.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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