History is merciless and the law of heaven is reincarnated.
Twenty years ago, in 2000, Microsoft, as the largest technology giant with the highest market value in the United States, was deeply involved in the anti-monopoly vortex set off by the US Department of justice, and faced with the split crisis.
The Department of Justice said:
As one of the world's richest companies with a market value of trillions of dollars, Google is the gatekeeper of the Internet monopoly for billions of users and countless advertisers around the world.
As a result, it decided to launch an antitrust lawsuit against Google and said it was possible to take any action against Google.
Including the spin off of Google.
U.S. Department of justice sued Google
On October 20, the U.S. Department of justice formally launched an antitrust lawsuit against Google.
Specifically, the U.S. Department of justice, together with attorneys general of 11 U.S. states, initiated antitrust litigation in the District Court of Washington, D.C., with the objectives of:
To prevent Google from illegally maintaining its monopoly position in the search and search advertising market through anti competitive and exclusive behavior, and to remedy competition damage.
In response to the lawsuit, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said:
He also said that millions of U.S. consumers, advertisers, small businesses and entrepreneurs were affected by Google's illegal monopoly, and the lawsuit hit the heart of Google's Web grab.
In response, Jeffrey A. Rosen, deputy secretary of justice of the United States, said that the Sherman Act (the first anti-monopoly law enacted by the U.S. Congress) was implemented again by the Department of justice to restore the role of competition, which will open the door to the next wave of innovation after the digital innovation.
This is also the first time that the US Department of justice has used the Sherman Act since the Microsoft antitrust case in 1998.
To some extent, the antitrust investigation of the U.S. Department of justice is actually accompanied by the development of a wave of science and technology, which has some significance of witnessing and influencing the historical process.
Google's monopoly in search
It is no surprise that Google has become the target of this antitrust case.
As a result, Google's services have essentially become the infrastructure of the global Internet (except China), especially in the United States.
It is worth mentioning that not long ago, according to the report released by the antitrust sub committee of the judicial committee of the house of representatives of the United States, Google is an absolutely dominant enterprise in the field of general search in the U.S. market.
Specifically, Google search accounts for 81% of the search volume on the desktop and 94% on the mobile side in the United States.
According to the US Department of justice complaint, in order to achieve the above goal, Google has adopted the following measures to illegally maintain the monopoly position of search and search advertising:
Sign an exclusive agreement to prohibit the pre installation of any competitive search service;
Signing bundling and other agreements to force the search application to be pre installed in the main location of the mobile device and make it unable to be sold, regardless of consumer preferences;
A long-term agreement with apple requires Google to become the default universal search engine on Apple's Safari browser and other search tools (the only one in fact);
They usually use monopoly profits to purchase preferential treatment for their search engines in devices, web browsers and other search access points, forming a continuous and self reinforcing monopoly cycle.
These and other anticompetitive practices hurt competition and consumers, reducing the ability of innovative new companies to develop, compete and constrain Google's behavior, the Justice Department said.
By filing a lawsuit, the U.S. Department of justice is trying to stop Google's anticompetitive behavior and restore competition among American consumers, advertisers and all companies that rely on the Internet economy.
Google said it didn't agree, but its troubles were just beginning
Google, of course, is not satisfied with the U.S. Department of justice's charges.
On October 20, Kent walker, Google's senior vice president for global affairs, replied on its official website that:
In this response, Google also proved that it was not a monopoly through the status of search engines on apple, Android, windows and other platforms. It also states:
We can understand that our success needs to be reviewed, but we stand by our position. Antitrust laws in the United States aim to promote innovation and help consumers, rather than change the competitive environment for specific competitors or make it more difficult for people to obtain the services they need.
It is obvious that Google has a tough mouth and intends to stand opposite to the Department of justice in this antitrust lawsuit.
In fact, outside the United States, Google may also face antitrust investigations from the European Union, China and other regions.
It is worth mentioning that Google is still in the process of EU antitrust investigation. The investigation project is Google's $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit.
Reuters also said a decision could be made as soon as October on whether a formal investigation into Google would eventually be carried forward.
Google has been 22 years old since 1998.
From a historical point of view, 22 years is just a flash, but for the development of the Internet, it is a sea of change. Google is a giant in this wave of Internet tide.
In fact, Google (alphabet) is the fastest private enterprise to reach a trillion market value in human history, only in 21 years.
But history is so ironic that Google has ushered in a major crisis at a time of glory.
Can Google survive this time?
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