U.S. congressional report suggests break-up of big tech firms
The U.S. government has asked Google to fork over granular data on how its search engine works and is monetized, seeking to prove that the internet giant is a monopoly.
The U.S. Department of Justice and several state attorneys general are seeking comparable data on U.S. search results and related ad from Feb. 2, 2015 to Feb. 8, 2015 and from Feb. 3, 2020 to Feb. 9, 2020, according to a legal filing Monday.
The Alphabet Inc. unit is being asked to share data on how and where users searched in those periods, the quantity of different types of ads, revenue from those ads and what the underlying bids were for them, among other details. The government told the company it wants the information within 30 days.
The Justice Department under former U.S. President Donald Trump and 11 Republican attorneys general originally filed the suit. Three other states have since joined, including California, the site of Google’s headquarters. The latest data request shows the government is pressing ahead under a new administration led by Democrat Joe Biden.
The U.S. government alleges Google’s exclusive deals to distribute its search engine on browsers and phones, including Apple Inc.’s iPhones, violates the Sherman Act’s prohibition on monopolization. It’s the most significant U.S. monopoly case since the one against Microsoft Corp. more than 20 years ago.
Google has said its deals don’t prevent consumers from switching to other search providers. The company argues its success rests on superior technology.