With growing pile of antitrust woes, how long can Google own internet?

Edited By: Vyomica Berry
New Delhi, India Updated: May 24, 2022, 04:05 PM(IST)

A Google sign is pictured on a Google building in the Manhattan borough of New York City Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Alphabet-owned internet titan can be forbidden from owning multiple parts of the digital advertising chain if the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act is passed in the US Senate

American multinational technology company Google, which is facing a new Big Tech antitrust bill, has been under increasing pressure after a three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals revived a part of Florida's social media law to disclose the standards they use to moderate content on its platform.

The unanimous decision was authored by Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom, who was appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump.

"The First Amendment protects platforms and their right to moderate content as they see fit - and the government can't force them to host content they don't want," NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo said in a statement.

According to US Senator Mike Lee, “This lack of competition in digital advertising means that monopoly rents are being imposed upon every website that is ad-supported and every company — small, medium, or large — that relies on internet advertising to grow its business.”

“It is essentially a tax on thousands of American businesses, and thus a tax on millions of American consumers,” Lee added.

The Alphabet-owned internet titan can be forbidden from owning multiple parts of the digital advertising chain if the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act is passed in the US Senate.

The tech giant's Russian subsidiary will file for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account following a series of spats with Moscow.

The Dutch consumer watchdog has launched a preliminary investigation into Google over its Play store for apps after dating site Tinder lodged a complaint against it.

In its complaint, the Match Group said that Google only allowed its own payment system to be used when purchasing apps, the Authority for Consumers and Markets said.

Also read | Is Google hatching a sinister plot to butt in on Donald Trump's app Truth Social's success?

Dutch regulator's spokesman Murco Mijnlieff told AFP, "We very recently received a complaint, and we will see if there is material to launch a formal inquiry."

The Silicon Vallery company has repeatedly faced problems in the United States and Europe over its alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

According to a letter signed by more than 100 groups lead by Common Cause and sent to the chief executive of Google Sundar Pichai, "High-profile disinformation spreaders and other bad actors are continuing to use social media platforms to disseminate messages that undermine trust in elections."

"Candidates are using the Big Lie as a platform plank to pre-emptively declare voter fraud in order to dispute the results of the 2022 election," they wrote. 

"This is damaging American democracy by undermining faith in the integrity of our elections."

Activists have urged Pichai to prioritise fact-checking and providing real-time access to data to external watchdogs.

(With inputs from agencies)

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