Government sues Google for stifling competition

The Department of Justice has launched its longexpected antitrust action against Google, centering its attack on the tech giant using its dominance in search and advertising to block competitors.

The complaint targets a series of interlocking actions by Google that, as a whole, allegedly harmed competition and prevented rivals from gaining a meaningful audience. It alleges in part that Google pays billions of dollars a year to device manufacturers like Apple, LG, Motorola, and Samsung and browser developers like Mozilla and Opera to be their default search engine and in many cases to prohibit them from dealing with Google's competitors. As a result, "Google effectively owns or controls search distribution channels accounting for roughly 80 percent of the general search queries in the United States." Justice Department officials did not rule out a breakup of Google on a call with reporters Tuesday."Nothing is off the table," said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who warned that if DOJ did not file suit now, "we could lose the next wave of innovation" and that "Americans may never get to see the next Google."