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DOJ to file Google lawsuit in weeks -sources

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on September 4, 2020 - Duration: 01:40s

DOJ to file Google lawsuit in weeks -sources

The Justice Department, which has been conducting an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc's Google, plans to bring a lawsuit against Google as soon as this month, according to two sources familiar with the probe, who said the focus remains on search and advertising.

Conway G.

Gittens reports.

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DOJ to file Google lawsuit in weeks -sources

The U.S. Department of Justice plans to file a lawsuit against Alphabet's Google unit in the weeks to come, two sources familiar with a DOJ probe told Reuters.

The lawsuit will focus on antitrust activity in Google's search and advertising businesses, which has been under a DOJ investigation for more than a year.

The probe has been looking into allegations that Google violates antitrust laws by favoring its own businesses, like YouTube, in search results, rather than returning neutral answers to queries, the sources said.

The legal filing, which was expected around Labor Day, is now likely to come sometime later between September and mid-October.

The Justice Department had no immediate comment.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda had this response: "While we continue to engage with ongoing investigations, our focus is firmly on providing free services that help people every day, lower costs for small businesses, and enable increased choice and competition." But executives knowledgeable of how the ad industry works beg to differ, accusing Google of abusing its dominance in display search ads.

A DOJ lawsuit wouldn't be Google's only problem.

It has already been fined $2.6 billion by the European Union for favoring a Google price-comparison shopping service over smaller European rivals.

And a large group of state attorneys general are also looking into possible anti-competitive behavior at the search giant.

The legal threat hanging over Alphabet shares have left Google's parent with a year-to-date gain of just 16 percent, compared to the 27 percent gain overall for the Nasdaq.

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