DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Google. He is joined by 37 additional state attorneys general.
The lawsuit alleges Google illegally maintains a monopoly and creates barriers of entry for potential competitors. Legal experts are already calling the case historic as a majority of states continue to take on big tech.
Google is being accused of violating the Sherman Act by eliminating competition to become an internet powerhouse.
“By undermining competition in this market, Google leaves consumers with less choice and forestalls innovation,” Weiser said during a Zoom press conference Thursday morning.
Weiser laid out his case, along with attorneys general from Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee, during the Thursday virtual conference.
“This case represents a critical effort to address the concentration of power and control by one company over a crucial sector of our economy,” Weiser said.
The attorneys general said Google has a monopoly in search and adverting by entering into exclusive contracts with various companies like Apple. The suit also states Google discriminates against competitors by controlling where they appear in search results. It also alleges Google continues its anti-competitive practices in emerging technologies like smart speakers and various motor vehicle capabilities.
“If you can imagine a shelf at a store … Google controls that e-shelf,” said Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson. “They control what companies– [that] provide special search products– can and cannot be a part of that display shelf.”
Google warned the lawsuit seeks to make its search engine less useful for consumers by demanding a change in design. Google also said local search results “drive more than 4 billion direct connections for businesses every month.” The corporation also said it has increased traffic to non-Google sites every year.
The attorneys general admit their antitrust lawsuit won’t be won easily. The suit is not the only government force currently at play against Google.
“Congress is looking at this and they should,” said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. “Other legislative solutions might be available.”
The states are also concerned about the vast amounts of data Google collects on people, according to the suit. Ultimately, the states said they want to restore a competitive marketplace.