ANTITRUST

Google Must Respond To DOJ Suit By Dec. 19

Google

Google has until Dec. 19 to respond in court to the federal government's recent lawsuit accusing the company of building its empire by exploiting its search dominance in a manner that violates antitrust laws, Reuters reported.

The deadline is included in a document Google filed Friday (Oct. 23) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where the government filed the suit Tuesday (Oct. 20). Google's filing was required under federal civil procedure's Rule 12, which gives a defendant in such a case 60 days to respond under certain circumstances.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote in the introduction to its suit: “The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet, and one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, with a market value of $1 trillion and annual revenue exceeding $160 billion. For many years, Google has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising — the cornerstones of its empire."

While Google has almost two months to respond to the allegations in court, the company issued a public response to the suit shortly after it was filed.

Google called the lawsuit "deeply flawed" and maintained it has done nothing wrong to win customers, stating in part: "...people don’t use Google because they have to, they use it because they choose to. This isn’t the dial-up 1990s, when changing services was slow and difficult, and often required you to buy and install software with a CD-ROM. Today, you can easily download your choice of apps or change your default settings in a matter of seconds — faster than you can walk to another aisle in the grocery store."

The ways in which the lawsuit could affect Google's acquisitions, such as the Waze map and directions service, remain to be seen.

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