U.S. government asks Google for detailed search data in antitrust case

U.S. government antitrust authorities asked Alphabet unit Google to fork over granular information on how its search engine works and makes money, seeking to prove that the internet giant is a monopoly.

Google breakup. Image: Google logo

Nico Grant for Bloomberg:

The U.S. Department of Justice and several state attorneys general are seeking comparable data on U.S. search results and related ads from Feb. 2, 2015 to Feb. 8, 2015 and from Feb. 3, 2020 to Feb. 9, 2020, according to a legal filing Monday.

The Alphabet Inc. unit is being asked to share data on how and where users searched in those periods, the quantity of different types of ads, revenue from those ads and what the underlying bids were for them, among other details.

The DOJ and Google have tussled in court over evidence discovery in the case, with the government seeking communications about the company’s market share, a partnership with Apple Inc., and competition between Google and Apple’s device operating systems.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully U.S. government antitrust authorities recognize, or soon will realize, that Google is an online advertising network masquerading as a search engine. The unfortunately ubiquitous search engine is a mechanism for tracking users in order to deliver targeted advertising to them.

If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try today (https://duckduckgo.com) or even Bing. Anything to help restore competition to online search.

We’d like to see real competition in the online search and advertising markets restored someday.MacDailyNews, March 20, 2019

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

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