Thursday, October 28

Google is accumulating two more lawsuits from the US Administration for alleged competitive practices in 48 hours


Thursday, 17 December 2020 – 20:55

The latest lawsuit, filed by 38 states, is due to Google’s alleged use of its search engine and online ads to exclude competitors such as Amazon.

Screens with the Google logo.

Screens with the Google logo.
AFP

Google already has three lawsuits from the different US Public Administrations for anti-competitive practices, in what seems to be a sign of the tendency of regulators in that country to act against the technology giants, which have operated for more than a decade with almost total freedom of action.

The last lawsuit, filed by 38 states, both Republicans and Democrats, is due to Google’s alleged use of its search and ad system online to exclude competitors, including Amazon. This case is added to another, with more spectacular resonances, raised yesterday, in which nine states -all of them Republicans- denounced Google for anti-competitive practices in the advertising market. online, which constitutes the main source of income for the company. This demand reveals, on the one hand, Google’s competitiveness problems and, on the other, the degree of collusion between the Silicon Valley giants, since it reveals that, in 2017, in the face of the loss of advertising market share onlinedue to competition from Facebook, both companies reached an agreement, that violated the rules of competition, to divide that sector. Alphabet, the owner of Google, has categorically denied any wrongdoing, while Facebook has not commented on the allegations.

Paradoxically, the decision of the Republican Party to contest the November 3 elections plays in Google’s favor. Tuesday’s lawsuit was filed by the state of Texas, which, in a decision unprecedented in US history, has sought to have the Supreme Court declare void the elections in the states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, coincidentally the states that Joe Biden needed to win the election. The lawsuit was described as “seditious abuse of the legal process” by the four defendant states, and was rejected by the Supreme Court. Even so, it has created the bad blood Enough that not a single Democratic state has joined the lawsuit that affects Google and Facebook.

These two cases could go separately before the Justice, or join a third, presented by the federal government – the equivalent of the central Administration in Spain – in the month of October. In any event, the litigation will last for years, and its outcome is uncertain, although it is clear that the political climate in the United States has changed and there is growing hostility toward the so-called Big Tech, that is, the big technology companies.

All in all, Alphabet has achieved a victory today in one of the jurisdictions that have been most critical of it: the European Union. Brussels has approved the purchase of the bracelet manufacturer Fitbit por Alphabet for 2,100 million dollars (1,700 million euros), in exchange only for very limited conditions, such as allowing access without any type of restriction from other companies of fitness to your Android operating system. The problem with these restrictions is that they are very difficult for the authorities to monitor, which opens the door to possible abuses by Alphabet such as those being denounced in the United States.

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