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The US antitrust case against Google is just the beginning| GuyWhoKnowsThings


The US government's landmark antitrust trial against Google's search business is close to its conclusion. But the parade of major federal cases challenging the power of Big Tech is just beginning.

Under the Trump administration, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission began investigating Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta, the parent company of Instagram and WhatsApp, for monopolistic behavior. The government has since sued all four companies (Google twice) in what it says is an effort to rein in their power and promote greater competition.

The companies have denied the allegations and are fighting back.

Closing arguments conclude Friday in Google's first antitrust lawsuit over allegations that it has a monopoly on Internet searches. The judge's rulingexpected in the coming weeks or months, likely sets precedents for the remaining cases.

Here's the latest on the state of the US government against Big Tech.

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In September, the The FTC and 17 states sued Amazon, accusing it of protecting a monopoly by pressuring sellers in its vast market and favoring its own services. The practices also harmed consumers, the FTC argued, and led to some cases of “artificially higher prices” because Amazon prevented those selling products on its site from offering the same products on other online sites for less money.

A judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington set the trial to begin in October 2026.

Amazon has asked the judge to dismiss the case, arguing that it often offers low prices to consumers and does not harm sellers on its marketplace. The lawsuit shows a “fundamental misunderstanding of retail,” the company argued.

FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, who is famous in certain circles for a 2017 Yale Law Journal antitrust article about reining in Amazon, has vowed to take on Big Tech monopolies.

Amazon described the FTC's lawsuit as “misguided” and warned that if the agency prevailed in its lawsuit, it would “force Amazon to engage in practices that actually to damage consumers and the many companies that sell in our store.”

In March, the The Department of Justice sued Apple, accusing the company of using a monopoly in the smartphone market to block competition, inflate prices for consumers and stifle competition. The department joined 15 states and the District of Columbia in its lawsuit after a nearly two-year investigation.

In the lawsuit, filed in New Jersey District Court, the department said Apple prevented companies from offering apps that compete with Apple products, such as cloud-based streaming, messaging and digital wallet apps.

Apple has said it plans to file a motion to dismiss the case and that its business decisions do not violate antitrust laws. He has also argued that those decisions make the iPhone a better experience.

“This lawsuit threatens who we are and the principles that set Apple products apart in fiercely competitive markets,” Apple said in a statement. “We believe this lawsuit is factually and legally flawed, and we will vigorously defend against it.”

In addition to the search demand, the Department of Justice filed a separate lawsuit against Googlee in January about online advertising. That case is expected to go to trial in September.

The department and eight states sued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, saying Google acquired rivals through anticompetitive mergers and bullied publishers and advertisers into using the company's advertising technology.

Last month, Google asked a federal judge to dismiss the case, arguing that the ad technology market is competitive and that the lawsuit could harm innovation and thousands of small businesses that depend on the online advertising market.

In the search lawsuit, if the judge rules against Google, he or she will have to suggest changes to the company's business to fix anything deemed illegal.

The FTC sued Meta in December 2020, accusing the company of creating a monopoly on social media by purchasing Instagram and WhatsApp. The mergers deprived consumers of alternative social media platforms, the FTC argued.

The lawsuit has taken more twists and turns than Big Tech's other antitrust cases. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before the company changed its name to Meta, from Facebook. In 2021, Judge James Boasberg dismissed the complaint, saying that the FTC did not adequately define the market it accused Meta of monopolizing. But he allowed the agency to refile its lawsuit, and it moved forward the following year.

The FTC joined 40 states in accusing Facebook of buying both Instagram and WhatsApp more than a decade ago for squash competition illegally that might one day have challenged the company's dominance. Regulators have called for the deals to be unwound.

Meta has argued that it did not acquire Instagram and WhatsApp to kill off competition and that it has invested heavily in developing innovations for the apps.


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