DOJ to reportedly file antitrust lawsuit against Google in September

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
The U.S. Department of Justice is aiming to file a landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google parent company Alphabet in September, though the action is viewed by some as premature, according to reports on Thursday.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports Attorney General William P. Barr is fast-tracking the action against the recommendation of career lawyers who believe the government is not prepared to successfully argue its case.

The Washington Post in a corroborating report suggests Barr's accelerated timeline is politically motivated, and federal officials have sped up work in order to file before the 2020 presidential election. Bringing a case against Google would be an achievement for the Trump administration, as both Republicans and Democrats are keen on passing reforms designed to neutralize the overgrown influence of big tech companies.

While an antitrust action against Google enjoys broad support from a group of 50 states and territories, state attorneys general involved in separate investigations disagree on how best to proceed. For some, the decision falls along party lines. Democrats believe Republicans are moving quickly to score a win for Trump, while Republicans allege Democrats are stalling in hopes of lodging a complain under a potential Biden presidency. In either case, the discontent could see limited state participation in the coming DOJ suit, The Times reports.

An informal poll of more than 30 Justice Department attorneys conducted this summer found a "vast majority" were convinced the organization was not ready to file against Google, according to The Post. Still, DOJ lawyers moved forward under orders from Barr to finish preparations by the end of September. Attorneys viewed the timeline as "arbitrary," according to The Times.

The DOJ kicked off its investigation into Google last year as part of a wider probe of big tech companies that also involves Apple, Facebook and Amazon. At the time, the DOJ said it would focus on "widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online."

As it pertains to Google, the Justice Department is targeting potential antitrust violations related to the company's online search and advertising businesses.

While Google faces challenges to its core businesses, Apple is rumored to be expanding its search capabilities and could be testing its own web-based search engine.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    This just demonstrates the sheer desperation of the current administration. They need a win before November 3rd, or at the very least, a distraction from the body count. 

    And in their desperation, they’re now saying is that a company is only allowed a certain level of success before it gets penalised. How very un-Republican. 

    This case will fail because it has no foundation, and I say this as someone who thinks Google search is an ad-infested mess. 

    GeorgeBMacwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 40
    How much lower can Donald get? Every time we think it is the bottom, he managed to get much lower the next time.  

    It will be fun to see how much lawsuits he will get after he left the office. Not to mention China will have some plans for him and his tiny empire.  
    GeorgeBMacwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 40
    Judging by the level and consistency of disinformation Google put out during the Apple/Samsung case. *ahem* IT"S ABOUT ROUND CORNERS! This is the sort of case that one would prefer not to occur before an election.

    That said a rushed case is bad news for consumers, as it's basically just lip service to genuine antitrust complaints.
    williamlondonBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 40
    cat52cat52 Posts: 124member
    "Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports..."

    "Attorneys viewed the timeline as "arbitrary," according to The Times."

    "An informal poll of more than 30 Justice Department attorneys conducted this summer found a "vast majority" were convinced the organization was not ready to file against Google, according to The Post."


    What a hoot....

    The NYT is relying on anonymous sources meanwhile WaPo is quoting "informal polls" where the "vast majority" believe such and such.  Can journalism be any more vague?  So if this informal poll involved all of 30 attorneys, then what constitutes a "vast majority"?  17 or 18, 21 or 22...?  Come on guys, maybe math isn't your thing, but surely you could spit out the actual number for us poor prols all the same.  But "vast majority" sounds so much scarier, so ooh, let's go with that.


    To think formerly august publications like the Times & the Post wonder why their reputations are in tatters.  Maybe we should all just go read BuzzFeed instead...
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    That's the gold standard for the Trump administration: the result never actually matters, only the media coverage that they're "doing something". That's why they're always fast tracking everything. They could care less if it really works. 
    BiggieTallGeorgeBMacwilliamlondonviclauyycDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 40
    Well this will certainly be better than the Obama administration which declined to do anything and had Schmidt visit the White House numerous times.
    cat52d_2mobirdwilliamlondonBeatsmariowincowatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    Rayz2016 said:
    This just demonstrates the sheer desperation of the current administration. They need a win before November 3rd, or at the very least, a distraction from the body count. 

    And in their desperation, they’re now saying is that a company is only allowed a certain level of success before it gets penalised. How very un-Republican. 

    This case will fail because it has no foundation, and I say this as someone who thinks Google search is an ad-infested mess. 


    True!
    But perhaps more importantly, they want Google to favor right wing "information" just as Facebook does and they are using the intimidation tactic of legal harassment to get there.   It's another method of "controlling the message".  For instance, when somebody searches on "socialism" it comes up with a picture of their political opponent.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    cat52 said:
    "Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports..."

    "Attorneys viewed the timeline as "arbitrary," according to The Times."

    "An informal poll of more than 30 Justice Department attorneys conducted this summer found a "vast majority" were convinced the organization was not ready to file against Google, according to The Post."


    What a hoot....

    The NYT is relying on anonymous sources meanwhile WaPo is quoting "informal polls" where the "vast majority" believe such and such.  Can journalism be any more vague?  So if this informal poll involved all of 30 attorneys, then what constitutes a "vast majority"?  17 or 18, 21 or 22...?  Come on guys, maybe math isn't your thing, but surely you could spit out the actual number for us poor prols all the same.  But "vast majority" sounds so much scarier, so ooh, let's go with that.


    To think formerly august publications like the Times & the Post wonder why their reputations are in tatters.  Maybe we should all just go read BuzzFeed instead...

    "anonymous sources" and 'not revealing sources' are two different things -- although it's become politically expedient for some to try to make them the same.

    As for "informal polls":  they are vastly more credible than "Many people are saying...."

    And no, the reputation of mainstream media reporting facts and truth and correcting any errors is under attack -- but is not "in tatters" despite the best efforts of some disinformation campaigns.
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 9 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    muaddib said:
    Well this will certainly be better than the Obama administration which declined to do anything and had Schmidt visit the White House numerous times.

    LOL.... So using our now very politicized Justice Department to intimidate U.S. organizations into putting out favorable coverage is good?   Really?  For who?

    (and, by the way, how many times has Trump had Apple, Google, and many others to the WhiteHouse to push his agenda on them?)
    viclauyyc
  • Reply 10 of 40
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,439member
    Rayz2016 said:
    This just demonstrates the sheer desperation of the current administration. They need a win before November 3rd, or at the very least, a distraction from the body count. 

    And in their desperation, they’re now saying is that a company is only allowed a certain level of success before it gets penalised. How very un-Republican. 

    This case will fail because it has no foundation, and I say this as someone who thinks Google search is an ad-infested mess. 

    Please stop trying to justify this as a political hit job on big tech, it's not. What it is in reality is anti-trust laws functioning as intended. The concentration of wealth in this country has created an unhealthy threat to all our livelihoods and future of our capitalist democracy. A few players own everything, there is no future or room for competition, innovation, new industries or choice. Apple is next on the chopping block, they are too big, overbearing in their policies with developers as the cash cow App Store has shown. Stop thinking of monopolies in the 20th century format ie: company x sell 90% of all the gadgets so its a monopoly. Apple does not have to be the biggest seller of  phone, personal devices, desktops, music sales etc to have the biggest control and profits because it is by far dominant collectively. Apple's story from underdog to tech titan was enabled more by tax law loopholes, creative bookkeeping. Put aside your admiration for moment and take a bystander look at the company and it's polices regarding competition, it's purchasing of small upstarts to which maybe to incorporate the technology or to snuff it out. A smarter move than merging with a competitor the way big corporations did in the 20th century on to be crushed under its own weight. 
    mariowinco
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Please stop trying to justify this as a political hit job on big tech, it's not.
    The timing, especially when they are not ready to argue the case, suggests that it is...
    Dogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 40
    muaddib said:
    Well this will certainly be better than the Obama administration which declined to do anything and had Schmidt visit the White House numerous times.

    LOL.... So using our now very politicized Justice Department to intimidate U.S. organizations into putting out favorable coverage is good?   Really?  For who?

    (and, by the way, how many times has Trump had Apple, Google, and many others to the WhiteHouse to push his agenda on them?)
    Not as many as the Obama Administration 

    Report finds hundreds of meetings between White House and Google

    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/277251-report-highlights-hundreds-of-meetings-between-white-house-and-google

    P.S.I don't care how many times Tim Apple has visited the White House we are talking Google here.
    PPS The disagreement within the DOJ is not if to file the lawsuit but when and you don't even know what the charges are.
    edited September 2020 cat52watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,439member
    fordee said:
    Please stop trying to justify this as a political hit job on big tech, it's not.
    The timing, especially when they are not ready to argue the case, suggests that it is...
    When would the timing be better, when Google controls twice as much? 
    cat52
  • Reply 14 of 40
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,734member
    As Delenn said “ If you do the right thing for the wrong reasons, the work becomes corrupted, impure, and ultimately self-destructive.”
    Is Alphabet and Google abusive and a corrupt monopoly, I think so. But the Attorneys General think they don’t have a case yet. So filing now is premature and will fail. But the administration is doing this for political not legal reasons. Literally the wrong reason. This shows they are more corrupt than Alphabet/Google.
    DogpersonGeorgeBMacmariowincowatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 40
    cat52cat52 Posts: 124member
    Far be it for me to question the integrity of WaPo.....

    But has anyone even considered whether filing charges against Google will have any sort of political impact at all...?

    Seems to me people have already made up their minds who they're going to vote for, so the DOJ potentially filing a lawsuit here isn't going to change many minds.

    So as usual the claims of political meddling seem overblown.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Rayz2016 said:
    This just demonstrates the sheer desperation of the current administration. They need a win before November 3rd, or at the very least, a distraction from the body count. 

    And in their desperation, they’re now saying is that a company is only allowed a certain level of success before it gets penalised. How very un-Republican. 

    This case will fail because it has no foundation, and I say this as someone who thinks Google search is an ad-infested mess. 

    Nothing to do w politics....EU, Japan and other countries are doing the same things. Law is law, unfortunately as any companies becomes too big and powerful they became the target. 
    mariowincocat52
  • Reply 17 of 40
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    spice-boy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    This just demonstrates the sheer desperation of the current administration. They need a win before November 3rd, or at the very least, a distraction from the body count. 

    And in their desperation, they’re now saying is that a company is only allowed a certain level of success before it gets penalised. How very un-Republican. 

    This case will fail because it has no foundation, and I say this as someone who thinks Google search is an ad-infested mess. 

    Please stop trying to justify this as a political hit job on big tech, it's not. What it is in reality is anti-trust laws functioning as intended. The concentration of wealth in this country has created an unhealthy threat to all our livelihoods and future of our capitalist democracy. A few players own everything, there is no future or room for competition, innovation, new industries or choice. Apple is next on the chopping block, they are too big, overbearing in their policies with developers as the cash cow App Store has shown. Stop thinking of monopolies in the 20th century format ie: company x sell 90% of all the gadgets so its a monopoly. Apple does not have to be the biggest seller of  phone, personal devices, desktops, music sales etc to have the biggest control and profits because it is by far dominant collectively. Apple's story from underdog to tech titan was enabled more by tax law loopholes, creative bookkeeping. Put aside your admiration for moment and take a bystander look at the company and it's polices regarding competition, it's purchasing of small upstarts to which maybe to incorporate the technology or to snuff it out. A smarter move than merging with a competitor the way big corporations did in the 20th century on to be crushed under its own weight. 
    Wow are you ok?  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    muaddib said:
    muaddib said:
    Well this will certainly be better than the Obama administration which declined to do anything and had Schmidt visit the White House numerous times.

    LOL.... So using our now very politicized Justice Department to intimidate U.S. organizations into putting out favorable coverage is good?   Really?  For who?

    (and, by the way, how many times has Trump had Apple, Google, and many others to the WhiteHouse to push his agenda on them?)
    Not as many as the Obama Administration 

    Report finds hundreds of meetings between White House and Google

    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/277251-report-highlights-hundreds-of-meetings-between-white-house-and-google

    P.S.I don't care how many times Tim Apple has visited the White House we are talking Google here.
    PPS The disagreement within the DOJ is not if to file the lawsuit but when and you don't even know what the charges are.

    "WhatAboutIsm"....    The last and final refuge of a failed argument -- particularly when it has to reach so far as to imply that "a meeting" is ALWAYS nefarious. So sad.


  • Reply 19 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    spice-boy said:
    fordee said:
    Please stop trying to justify this as a political hit job on big tech, it's not.
    The timing, especially when they are not ready to argue the case, suggests that it is...
    When would the timing be better, when Google controls twice as much? 

    Nice deflection....   But, to initiate a judicial investigation of an organization to intimidate it into producing favorable coverage in the run up to an election is typically thought of as "bad timing".
  • Reply 20 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,302member
    cat52 said:
    Far be it for me to question the integrity of WaPo.....

    But has anyone even considered whether filing charges against Google will have any sort of political impact at all...?

    Seems to me people have already made up their minds who they're going to vote for, so the DOJ potentially filing a lawsuit here isn't going to change many minds.

    So as usual the claims of political meddling seem overblown.

    Yes, Trump's cultists will absolutely vote for Trump regardless of anything he says or does.  But Trump knows that the voting block who will decide this election are the moderates, many of whom swung over to vote for him in 2016.   He needs their vote if he is to have any chance of legitimate win.   So, using his now very politicized justice department to intimidate organizations into providing favorable coverage is apparently one of his tactics.
Sign In or Register to comment.