By: The Economist

October 22, 2020

It is the biggest antitrust suit in two decades. On October 20th the Department of Justice (doj) alleged that Google ties up phone-makers, networks and browsers in deals that make it the default search engine. The department says this harms consumers, who are deprived of alternatives. The arrangement is sustained by Google’s dominance of search which, because of a global market share of roughly 90%, generates the advertising profits that pay for the deals (see article). The doj has not yet said what remedy it wants, but it could force Google and its parent, Alphabet, to change how they structure their business. Don’t hold your breath, though: Google dismisses the suit as nonsense, so the case could drag on for years.