Firing up a landmark legal clash between the U.S. government and the search and advertising Goliath, the U.S. Justice Department is expected to brief state attorneys general this week about its imminent plans to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google.
The timeline puts federal competition watchdogs on track to file a case against Google potentially next week, capping off a wide-ranging inquiry into the tech giant and the extent to which its sprawling corporate footprint harms rivals and consumers…
State attorneys general, meanwhile, embarked on their own bipartisan probe last summer, an inquiry led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). That, too, has broadened considerably since Democratic and Republican state leaders announced their intentions from the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington. It remains unclear which states may ultimately join the Justice Department in any lawsuit it files in the coming days, or whether they could file their own additional complaints…
Adding to Google’s headaches, the White House is expected to host Republican attorneys general on Wednesday to discuss a controversial, decades-old federal law that spares social media platforms from being held liable for content posted by their users, according to the two people, who added that it is not clear whether any Democrats have been invited to that gathering.
The two people said President Trump is expected to join the meeting, which comes weeks after the Justice Department publicly called on Congress to adopt sweeping changes to the law, known as Section 230. Barr and the Justice Department endorsed the revisions partly because of claims that social media sites, including Google-owned YouTube, moderate content online in a way that censors conservative users and viewpoints.
MacDailyNews Take: Better late than never! Google is a massive problem that simply must be addressed. There is one “Big Tech” company that is really stifling competition and for which antitrust remedies are in order: Alphabet (Google).
When one search engine has 86% share of the worldwide market (and Google basically isn’t even used in China), there is far, far, far too much power concentrated in one company. The whole concept of the World Wide Web is destroyed when a sole gatekeeper basically controls what gets seen, read, and heard. It’s not open, it’s completely closed and controlled.
Publishers who want to be read, for example, spend an inordinate amount of time making sure they follow Google’s dictates, nebulously sussed from Google’s secret algorithm, formatting their sites, even writing their articles a certain way, including certain words they might not choose if allowed to write freely, simply to please Google’s algorithm.
If Google doesn’t like a site (imagine a site that believes Google’s Android is a stolen product and says so repeatedly), Google can hurt that site by, say, excluding that site from the News tab on Google (since 2009), so that the site is more difficult to find, hurting that site’s traffic and ability to generate revenue. (Is there a lawsuit there? Someday we might find out.)
Hopefully, lawmakers can come together to figure out a way to do something to remedy the horribly uncompetitive situation in internet search. Google is, and has been for years, a perfect example of why antitrust laws exist. — MacDailyNews, July 29, 2020
With this unprecedented power, platforms have the ability to redirect into their pockets the advertising dollars that once went to newspapers and magazines. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t. — MacDailyNews, November 9, 2017
Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?
You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)
That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone.
The U.S. government has utterly failed to police Google. Because the people with the power to do so currently are corrupt. Follow the money. Hopefully, the European Union will help to correct the situation.
In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone. — MacDailyNews, July 14, 2016