Case Details

Lead State

AR, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, MT, SC, TX

Participating States

AR, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, MT, SC, TX

Case Description

Eleven states and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to prevent Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets. According to the complaint, Google accounted for almost 90 percent of all search queries in the United States. Google has entered into a series of exclusionary agreements to lock up the primary avenues through which users access search engines, and thus the internet, by requiring that Google be set as the default or exclusive search engine on billions of mobile devices and computers worldwide. In particular, the Complaint alleges that Google has unlawfully maintained monopolies in search and search advertising by 1) entering into exclusivity agreements that forbid preinstallation of any competing search service; 2) entering into tying and other arrangements that force preinstallation of its search applications in prime locations on mobile devices and make them undeletable, regardless of consumer preference; 3) entering into long-term agreements with Apple that require Google to be the default, and de facto exclusive, general search engine on Apple’s  Safari browser and other Apple search tools; 4) using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers, and other search access points, creating a continuous and self-reinforcing cycle of monopolization. The complaint alleges that Google’s anticompetitive practices have had harmful effects on competition and consumers. Google has foreclosed any meaningful search competitor from gaining vital distribution and scale, eliminating competition for most search queries in the U.S. By restricting competition in search, Google’s conduct has harmed consumers by reducing the quality of search, including on privacy, data protection and use of consumer data, lessening choice in search and impeding innovation.