According to a person briefed on the situation, the Justice Department recently granted the top antitrust official permission to oversee investigations involving Google parent Alphabet Inc. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported on the choice to delegate control of the investigation into the search engine and advertising giant to Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general in charge of antitrust. Both Google and the Justice Department on Friday opted not to comment.
As a result of Kanter’s work for other Google critics, including Yelp Inc., which Alphabet claimed had been “vociferously advocating for an antitrust case against Google for years,” Google urged the Justice Department in November 2021 to consider that.
In May, Bloomberg News reported that Kanter had been prohibited from participating in Google investigations while the department deliberated whether or not he needed to be recused.
Google argued on Wednesday that a Justice Department antitrust case against it should be dismissed, claiming that agreements it signed with Apple Inc. and others to make Google the default search engine do not prevent smartphone manufacturers from endorsing competitors.
In September, the matter is scheduled to go to trial. Google might have to spin off important assets if it loses.
Google requested that a court dismiss the antitrust case that the Justice Department and 11 states launched in 2020 and a separate complaint made by 35 states, including Colorado, in December.
Justice Department is claiming that Google broke antirust laws
In its October 2020 complaint, the Justice Department claims that Google broke antitrust laws to retain its hegemony in search and search advertising. It cited Google’s yearly payments of billions of dollars to companies like Apple, LG Electronics Inc., and others as an illustration, to ensure that Google search was the default on those products.
Numerous states have made further accusations of antitrust infringement against Google. The case, also brought in 2020 by Colorado and others, claim that Google illegally restricts rivals’ access to its Search Ads 360 tool, which marketers use to oversee online marketing campaigns.
The Justice Department may be one step closer to bringing an antitrust action challenging the company’s activities in the internet advertising market due to the decision to permit his work on matters involving Google. Google works on behalf of websites and advertisers and sells its own ad space on websites like YouTube, in addition to being involved in practically every aspect of online advertising. According to critics, the corporation is accused of using its strong position to drive out rivals and give itself an unfair edge.