High-Lights: Our Tech PR POV

The Law is Coming: The Department of Justice Files Antitrust Suit Against Google

The Depart of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google for maintaining an illegal monopoly over search and search advertising on Tuesday morning. 

It’s been decades since the federal government has taken an action this extreme against a company. Tim Wu, professor at Columbia Law School and author of the Curse of Bigness about the history of antitrust, noted that the suit itself looks like almost a copy-paste of the (successful) case against Microsoft in the 1990s. 

In these extremely partisan times, one of the more surprising aspects of today’s news has been the most unified reaction from the right and left. Most people agree with the DOJ regardless of affiliation. However, many believe that current antitrust legislation is not enough to curb Big Tech and have suggested that a mix of additional actions should supplement DOJ’s suit to rein in Silicon Valley.

The outcome of the DOJ’s filing today is uncertain. Google has been battling stricter antitrust laws in Europe for years and there is debate around whether Google is anti-competitive or just the best product that customers continue to choose. What is clear is that the future holds more aggressive actions against Tech power from federal and state governments. The law is coming, it seems. 

Additional Information:

News

Think Pieces

  • New York Times: Kara Swisher: The Justice Dept.’s Lawsuit Against Google: Too Little, Too Late
    • Key Quotes:
      • But here’s the trouble: There’s no such thing as a single entity called Big Tech, and just saying it exists will not cut it. The challenges plaguing the tech industry are so complex that it is impossible to take action against one without understanding the entire ecosystem, which hinges on many monster companies, with many big problems, each of which requires a different remedy.
  • Time: Tom Wheeler: The Justice Department’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google Isn’t Enough to Stop the Abuses of Big Tech
    • Key Quotes: 
      • The abusive practices of the dominant digital platforms are so widespread and have become so embedded that there is no single solution. What is needed is a cocktail of remedies that blends antitrust with ongoing regulatory oversight.
      • We need to couple antitrust with a new vehicle for public-interest oversight to prevent abuses in the first place.

Statements 

Google Statement

DOJ Statement