Google Antitrust Suit

US Justice Department and 11 states have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, which BBC News notes is "the biggest challenge brought by US regulators against a major tech company in years." Here's word on this sudden recollection that there are regulations in this country to prevent monopolies:
The charges, filed in federal court, were brought by the US Department of Justice and 11 other states. The lawsuit focuses on the billions of dollars Google pays each year to ensure its search engine is installed as the default option on browsers and devices such as mobile phones.

Officials said those deals have helped secure Google's place as the "gatekeeper" to the internet, owning or controlling the channels for about 80% of search queries in the US.

"Google has thus foreclosed competition for internet search," the lawsuit said. "General search engine competitors are denied vital distribution, scale, and product recognition - ensuring they have no real chance to challenge Google."

It added: "Google is so dominant that 'Google' is not only a noun to identify the company and the Google search engine but also a verb that means to search the internet."

The case could be the first of many in the US that challenge the dominance of big tech firms and potentially lead to their break-up.

Coming just a few weeks before the US presidential election, it has also been viewed as a move by the Trump administration to prove its willingness to challenge the influence of the sector if it gains a second term.

Officials said they had not rushed the investigation to ensure it was filed before the election.

"We're acting when the facts and the law warranted," deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen said, adding that the department's review of competition practices in the technology sector is continuing.
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Re: Google Antitrust Suit
Oct 20, 2020, 20:55
Re: Google Antitrust Suit Oct 20, 2020, 20:55
Oct 20, 2020, 20:55
Mr. Tact wrote on Oct 20, 2020, 19:50:
jdreyer wrote on Oct 20, 2020, 17:46:
Next up:
- Amazon
- Apple
- Disney
- Facebook
- Comcast
- Microsoft (again)
- Probably mobile as well, now that Sprint and TMob are merging.
Of that list, I most want to see Comcast get hammered. In fact, ISPs in general need their chains yanked severely. More so in my mind than Google, Facebook or Apple. Yeah, the data collection by all of the big three is a terrible intrusion -- but at least it can be avoided somewhat if you care to try. You can't avoid your ISP, especially when there is a single broadband provider in your area.

The current DoJ likes the ISPs. All 11 attorneys general joining in the suit are Republicans. Right wingers are up in arms nowadays about Facebook and Twitter censoring their misleading or outright false posts, and generally dislike Silicon Valley's left-leaning techs. But what about ISPs? Surely if your ISP censors you it's even worse, right? Not so much. If you look back to Brett Kavanaugh opining about net neutrality in 2017, he was all for ISPs doing the exact same thing, claiming First Amendment rights:

Case link

The threshold question is whether the First Amendment applies to Internet service providers when they exercise editorial 427*427 discretion and choose what content to carry and not to carry. The answer is yes.


At the time of the Founding, the First Amendment protected (among other things) the editorial discretion of the many publishers, newspapers, and pamphleteers who produced and supplied written communications to the citizens of the United States. For example, the Federal Government could not tell newspapers that they had to publish letters or commentary from all citizens, or from citizens who had different viewpoints. The Federal Government could not compel book publishers to accept and promote all books on equal terms or to publish books from authors with different perspectives. As Benjamin Franklin once remarked, his newspaper "was not a stagecoach, with seats for everyone." Columbia Broadcasting System, 412 U.S. at 152, 93 S.Ct. 2080 (Douglas, J., concurring in judgment) (quoting FRANK LUTHER MOTT, AMERICAN JOURNALISM: A HISTORY, 1690-1960, at 55 (3d ed. 1962)).


Here, of course, we deal with Internet service providers, not cable television operators. But Internet service providers and cable operators perform the same kinds of functions in their respective networks. Just like cable operators, Internet service providers deliver content to consumers. Internet service providers may not necessarily generate much content of their own, but they may decide what content they will transmit, just as cable operators decide what content they will transmit. Deciding whether and how to transmit ESPN and deciding whether and how to transmit are not meaningfully different for First Amendment purposes.

Indeed, some of the same entities that provide cable television service — colloquially known as cable companies — provide Internet access over the very same wires. If those entities receive First Amendment protection when they transmit television stations and networks, they likewise receive First Amendment protection when they transmit Internet content. It would be entirely illogical to conclude otherwise. In short, Internet service providers enjoy First Amendment protection of their rights to speak and exercise editorial discretion, just as cable operators do.


Think about what the FCC is saying: Under the rule, you supposedly can exercise your editorial discretion to refuse to carry some Internet content. But if you choose to carry most or all Internet content, you cannot exercise your editorial discretion to favor some content over other content. What First Amendment case or principle supports that theory? Crickets.[8]


jdreyer wrote on Oct 20, 2020, 18:04:
If we did break them up, I doubt we'd our domestic monopolies be replaced by a foreign one.
Right, because China certainly doesn't have any designs on the Internet or global media. That's a super safe assumption to start from.
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  Re: Google Antitrust Suit
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