California asks to join US antitrust lawsuit against Google
California's attorney general has become the first Democrat to openly support the US department of justice's antitrust lawsuit against Google after the state asked to join the said litigation.
In October, the $1 trillion California-based company was accused by the department of unlawfully using muscle to derail competitors. Eleven other states joined the suit when it was filed.
In the filing, Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, "California is not making substantive changes to the complaint. In particular, California is not seeking to add any new facts or claims." This would not delay the case, Becerra said. According to Google however, its search engine and other products are dominant only because consumers prefer them. A Google spokeswoman said, "People use Google because they choose to, not because they're forced to, or because they can't find alternatives. We'll continue to make our case in court."
The judge in the case, US District Judge AMIT Mehta said that the company must respond to California's request to join the lawsuit by December 18.
California's entry saying that antitrust law was broken by Google to build and maintain supremacy in search and search advertising; was welcomed by the justice department.
Spokesperson Brianna Herlihy said, "This landmark antitrust case reflects broad and bipartisan concerns that Google ... has maintained its monopoly power by cutting off its competition." It was reported in November that a separate, cross-party group comprising the states of Utah, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado plans to merge its case with the federal government's case.
President-elect Joe Biden has picked California's Becerra as secretary of health and human services nominee to direct the response to the coronavirus pandemic.