“Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives,” Google executive Kent Walker responded. “This lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use.”
Walker compared Google’s practices to those of a cereal brand seeking to beat out competitors at the supermarket by paying for its products to be at eye level.
“For digital services, when you first buy a device, it has a kind of home screen ‘eye-level shelf,'” Walker said. ‘On mobile, that shelf is controlled by Apple, as well as companies like AT&T, Verizon, Samsung and LG. On desktop computers, that shelf space is overwhelmingly controlled by Microsoft. So, we negotiate agreements with many of those companies for eye-level shelf space. But let’s be clear—our competitors are readily available, too, if you want to use them.”
“Today’s lawsuit is the most important antitrust case in a generation,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said in a statement. “Google and its fellow Big Tech monopolists exercise unprecedented power over the lives of ordinary Americans, controlling everything from the news we read to the security of our most personal information. And Google in particular has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means.”
The DOJ suit alleges that Google has used its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost profits. The suit could be an opening shot in a battle against a number of Big Tech companies in the coming months.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Gillian Turner, Jake Gibson and Bill Mears, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.