Google’s antitrust legal woes far from over if Biden wins

Platform News: President Joe Biden talking about technology on the campaign trail

The US Justice Department’s nascent antitrust case against Google will probably find the attention it should succeed if Democrat Joe Biden wins the US presidency following month, experts have suggested.

William Kovacic, an antitrust professor at George Washington University Law School, said he expects that a Biden Justice Department could do one of 2 things: support the case all the way as it can be, or amend the complaint to add new claims.

“What they will not do is drop this case,” Kovacic predicted.

The Justice Department asked a court Tuesday to find that Alphabet’s Google had broken antitrust law to keep its dominance in search and research advertising. Google has denied wrongdoing.

Though the Biden campaign declined comment on the suit, spokesman Bill Russo reported a Biden administration would operate closely on Big Tech issues with Rep. David Cicilline, whose House panel generated a record that accused Google of utilizing aggressive business tactics to thwart its research rivals.

Russo added a Biden administration would be dedicated to doing “far more to ensure that excessive market power anywhere… is not hurting America’s families and workers.”

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In May, Biden told the Associated Press that breaking up Big Tech “is something we should take a really hard look at.”

Herbert Hovenkamp, who teaches antitrust at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, said he expects the federal lawsuit – that is narrowly focused on Google’s dominance in online search and search advertisements – could be expanded under Biden, saying, “The prudent thing to do is to bring as many counts as you can bring plausibly.”

An instance aiming to hold a business to account for many anticompetitive acts would allow prosecutors to request a more considerable remedy having a bigger impact on Google.

A Biden government wouldn’t have to look far on how to expand its lawsuit. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, also a veteran of President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, heads a group of nations looking at “the full scope of Google’s activity,” according to a source familiar with the probe.

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This means that Colorado might be looking at other facets of Google’s business, such as allegations that Google utilizes its popular search function to favour major advertisers as well as its products, like YouTube.

Weiser and other state attorneys general lauded Tuesday the “good working relationship with the DOJ on these serious issues” and stated that their probe would end “in coming weeks.”

“If we decide to file a complaint, we would file a motion to consolidate our case with the DOJ’s,” they stated. The group includes Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

To be sure, in addition, it is possible that the Biden team would be inclined to look at settling using Google, some thing that there isn’t any sign that the Trump government attempted to perform, but only as long as they can receive demanding remedies.

“I’m not predicting settlement, but I’m saying that settlement becomes much more possible,” explained Seth Bloom of Bloom Strategic Counsel.

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President Donald Trump and other conservatives have criticized some technology firms for allegedly stifling conservative voices, an issue which Biden’s team would not share.

Settlement options may include Google consenting to non-discrimination in hunt or ending insistence that Google products like Chrome be pre-installed in Android smart phones in exchange for access to Google’s Play Store.

Taking into consideration the inherent political bias within Alphabet-owned businesses, it would be somewhat ironic if the result of the 2020 presidential election meant the break-up of the company.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Diane Bartz. Editing by Chris Sanders and Edward Tobin. Comment by Rob Phillips.

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