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Posted: 2020-09-23 17:32:04

DOJ Nearing Antitrust Action on Google; Trump Eyes Tech Curb – CBS San Francisco

Originally published 2020 09 23
The anticipated lawsuit against Google by the Justice Department could be the government’s biggest legal offensive to protect competition since the ground-breaking case against Microsoft almost 20 years ago. Lawmakers and consumer advocates accuse Google of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits. For over a year, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have pursued sweeping antitrust investigations of big tech companies, looking at whether Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple have hurt competition, stifled innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.
Now with some 40 days to the presidential election, the Justice Department appears to be approaching legal action against Google and soliciting the support of state attorneys general on an issue of rare bipartisan agreement, while Trump appeals to his political base by amplifying a longstanding grievance of conservatives against Silicon Valley. Trump is meeting with a group of Republican attorneys general at the White House on Wednesday to discuss “protecting consumers from social media abuses.” Along with the antitrust drive, the Justice Department has asked Congress to roll back long-held legal protections for online platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter, putting down a legislative marker in Trump’s drive against the social media giants. The proposed changes would strip some of the bedrock protections that have generally shielded the companies from legal responsibility for what people post on their platforms.
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