The US Justice Department launched a lawsuit against Google for antitrust violations last month. The suit alleges Google has abused its dominance in online search and advertising.
The case was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C, and now eleven US states have joined the federal government in the lawsuit.
Scott Tarter, a partner at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP shared insight on what is happening in Indiana:
“Regulators claim Google holds nearly 90% of the American search engine market and use this monopoly power to provide lower quality search and ad services while charging unfairly high ad prices.
Google pays Apple billions of dollars to maintain its status as the default search engine on Apple devices and has strong distribution channel arrangements that could support regulator concerns.
However, Google’s response will likely be that it pays dearly for default search engine status and that companies like Apple choose Google because it’s simply the best search engine as well as being preferred by consumers.
It could come down to traditional antitrust notions of ‘too much’ economic power versus pure consumer preference.”
For a greater understanding of what is happening in your state, connect with one of our American antitrust specialists:
Connecticut: Carmody Torrance
Indiana: Bose McKinney & Evans
New York: Morrison Cohen
Pennsylvania: Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti
South Carolina: Nexsen Pruet
Texas: Mehaffy Weber, Scheef & Stone
Washington: Keller & Heckman
West Virginia: Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti
For other States see Mackrell website: https://www.mackrell.net/firms
The U.S. monopoly case follows on the heels of #antitrust investigations in other countries and is likely to trigger an onslaught of new antitrust lawsuits around the world.
Mackrell International’s (MI) Antitrust lawyers are poised to help companies around the world as regulators open up their own investigations.
Benjamin Grebe from Prieto Abogados in Chile is the MI Antitrust Practice Group leader. “The effects of the conducts in the digital era are global;we expect to see national investigations around the world in this or other issues related to alleged exclusionary practices by web browsers or search engines.”
The move against Google may seem bold for the US, but the European Union has already launched three separate antitrust investigations dating back to 2010.
To date, Google has been fined a total of €8.2 billion (US$9.3 billion): €1.5 billion in 2019, forcing customers of its AdSense business to sign non-compete contracts, €4.3 billion in 2018 for abusing its market dominance in mobile, and €2.4 billion the year before that for manipulating shopping search results. Google's $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit FIT.N. is also being investigated.
The main lesson learned in Europe is that the investigations were a long, drawn-out process, which provided Google the time and opportunity to change tactics. Even if Google lost their appeals they could easily afford the fees.
Our European Antitrust members include:
Germany: Danckelmann & Kerst, SKW Schwarz, SLB Kloepper
Denmark: Codex Advokater
Netherlands: TenHolter Noordam
Sweden: Wesslau Söderqvist
Greece & Cyprus: Christodoulos Vassiliades
For other Countries see Mackrell website: https://www.mackrell.net/firms
In 2018, India’s anti-competition regulator fined Google for “search bias,” but is currently being appealed. Other probes allege that smartphone makers are unable to opt for alternate Android versions and that Google unfairly promotes its mobile payments app in the country.
In a fourth antitrust challenge, India is expected to launch a new case for allegedly abusing its Android operating system’s position in the smart television market.
For more information connect with our member firms Murali & Co in Bangalore and RNC Legal in Delhi.
In Mexico, the Federal Telecommunications Agency (“IFT”) announced a market investigation to determine the possible existence of barriers to competition and/or essential inputs that may result in anticompetitive effects, i.e. to assess whether structural or behavioral distortions exist such that there is no effective competition
González Calvillo Antitrust Group can be reached here
Japan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has indicated that it will join forces with the US and Europe to take on any market abuses not only from Google, but Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
Our trusted colleagues in Japan are Kojima Law Offices.
For other Global Member Firms see Mackrell website: https://www.mackrell.net/firms