Illinois, other states file lawsuit against Google, seek to join DOJ case
Home page of the internet search engine Google as of Dec. 17, 2020. (Credit: Google.com)
The lawsuit claims Google has illegal monopoly over search engines, related advertising
By RAYMON TRONCOSO
Capitol News Illinois | Report For America
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined 37 other attorneys general Thursday in filing a lawsuit against Google LLC, alleging the company illegally holds monopoly power.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and accuses Google of engaging in anticompetitive practices that led to customers having less choice, less online privacy and less protection for their private information. Alongside Illinois, 34 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico are named as plaintiffs in the filing.
“Close to 90 percent of all internet searches done in the United States use Google. No competing search engine has more than 7 percent of the market, and, over the past decade, no new entrant in the general search market in the United States has accounted for more than 1 percent of internet searches in a given year,” the lawsuit reads, establishing Google’s status as a monopoly power in the search engine market.
The suit alleges Google maintains its monopoly through lucrative contracts with Apple and other companies to be the default search engine on the vast majority of smart devices and mobile phones.
Google then leverages this by putting advertising customers and results that benefit the company at the top of Google’s search results, rather than “general” or “organic” results, described in the suit as results from non-affiliated third-party websites that would normally appear first according to Google’s algorithm, absent advertising partners.
As part of the suit, the coalition of attorneys general seek to join an existing case against Google from the U.S. Department of Justice that is currently pending in court.
A third anti-trust lawsuit was also filed against Google on Wednesday by a different group of 10 state attorneys general in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
The cases are fairly similar, but the coalition’s lawsuit seeks to expand the DOJ’s complaint to include Google’s acquisition and stockpiling of personal data as an additional source of Google’s monopoly power that has created barriers to other competitors.
Attorney General Raoul joined another anti-trust lawsuit alongside 47 other attorneys general against Facebook last week.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.