Sunday, 02 June 2019 18:47

US considering anti-trust action against Google: report Featured

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US considering anti-trust action against Google: report Image by Simon Steinberger from Pixabay

The US Justice Department is considering whether to investigate Google for alleged anti-trust violations, a report in The New York Times claims.

A new anti-trust task force, which was commissioned in February, had been looking into the company's advertising practices and its influence in the online industry, the newspaper said, citing anonymous sources.

In May last year, as iTWire reported, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin acknowledged that the Justice Department needed to take a close look at technology companies like Google that may be monopolies.

A Washington Post report in March 2017 said Google's close ties to the White House had prevented a proposed 2012 probe into the company's alleged unfair competition from going ahead.

Staff from the Federal Trade Commission had recommended that enforcement action begin, saying, according to The Wall Street Journal, that "the 160-page critique, which was supposed to remain private but was inadvertently disclosed in an open-records request, concluded that Google’s ‘conduct has resulted — and will result — in real harm to consumers'.”

The report said a WSJ investigation had pointed out that Google's executives had donated more money to the Obama campaign than any company.

Google has been hit with three fines by the European Union over activities deemed to breach EU anti-trust rules, the most recent being a €1.49 billion (A$2.38 billion) penalty for its AdSense advertising service.

In July last year, the EU fined Google €4.3 billion for allegedly breaching anti-trust rules over its Android mobile operating system.

In June 2017, Google was fined €2.42 billion for allegedly abusing its search engine dominance to give illegal advantage to its own comparison shopping service.

The company has said it will appeal against all three fines.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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