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New Documents May Aid Antitrust Case Against Google, Amazon

 |  July 19, 2022

Internal documents from Google and Amazon provided to Politico, show new examples of how the companies favor their own products over competitors’,  adding ammunition to the push for Congress to toughen antitrust laws.

The documents,  which include emails, memos and strategy papers, were shared by the House Judiciary committee, which obtained them as part of its long-running antitrust investigation of Google, Apple, Amazon and Meta that wrapped in October 2020 with a 450-page staff report. The documents were cited in the report, but had not previously been made available.

The documents bolster the committee’s claims that the internet giants illegally favor their own products, a practice that pending legislation to update antitrust laws would make more difficult.

“It is time for Congress to act,” Antitrust Subcommittee Chair David N. Cicilline (D-RI) said in a statement.

Heavily redacted internal Google documents appear to show, for example, how Google pressured mobile phone makers including Samsung to prioritize its own apps on their devices.

In a January 2014 email about recent meetings in South Korea with Samsung and LG, a Google executive describes “grave concerns” about a new Samsung service “competing with our core search experience.” Yet Google appeared open to Samsung launching a “smart assistant” service in China, where Google’s offerings are not available.

The newly released material, which also include emails and other documents from Amazon and Meta-owned Facebook, arrives as pressure is building on Congress, and in particular Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to pass a bill that would block the internet giants from favoring their own products and services over those of competitors who rely on their platforms.

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