Android, Reuters: China to launch antitrust investigation against Google

 Android, Reuters: China to launch antitrust investigation against Google

Earlier, many governments have launched antitrust investigations into Googles parent company alphabet.

According to the New York Times on September 3, people familiar with the matter said that the U.S. Department of justice plans to formally file an antitrust lawsuit against Google as soon as this month. The team of lawyers involved in the antitrust investigation into Googles parent company alphabet should complete their work by the end of September, Ministry of justice officials have asked.

The US Department of justice launched an investigation into alphabet in June 2019. Over the course of a year, lawyers from the U.S. Department of justice and other personnel formed two independent investigation teams, covering the Google search business and advertising business.

In recent years, Google has been sued by EU antitrust law enforcement officials for monopoly charges, with a total fine of more than $9 billion. The European Union has also issued a sky high penalty of 4.34 billion euro on Google, setting a record fine in the European Union.

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The U.S. Department of justice will sue alphabets Google as soon as next week, which is urging state attorneys general to sign the lawsuit, Reuters said on Sept. 30, citing three people familiar with the matter.

It is understood that the US Department of justice is expected to accuse Google of seeking to put Bing and other competitors at a disadvantage by depriving them of user data and user preferences used to enhance services and provide advertising.

According to the report, the US Department of justice has also been investigating Googles search engine, which is suspected of favoring Googles own services and guiding users to Googles products.

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Googles tie-in strategy is accused of crowding out rivals by us key antitrust investigation

According to people familiar with the matter, the U.S. Department of justice and multi state attorneys general are investigating whether Google has implemented the so-called tie-in strategy, in which different products are bundled for sale, which can help it crowd out competitors and give itself an unfair advantage.

In recent months, U.S. investigators have asked executives of rival companies about the pricing and operations of Googles network. This business sells services that can handle almost every aspect of digital advertising, from brand creativity to content displayed on consumer screens.

The focus of the inquiry was on the discounts, special features and other terms offered by Google, which pushed advertisers and publishers to use only Googles products, rather than mix and match their competitors services. Regulators are also asking how Googles larger online search business interacts with the web sector to increase its share of the digital advertising market, people familiar with the matter said.

Tie in strategy makes the sale of one product conditional on the purchase of another product. Gene Kimmelman, a senior adviser to the public knowledge think-tank and a former chief legal adviser to the Department of justices antitrust division, said the practice is usually not illegal, but if it is used to consolidate a dominant market position, it could be against the law.

If these tools are used to maintain monopolies, prevent new players from entering, and crowd out competitors, then they may be antitrust, Kimmelman said

U.S. regulators will file antitrust lawsuits against Google in the coming weeks, possibly the largest antitrust case since the U.S. government sued Microsoft in 1998. The Microsoft case initially focused on the concept of tie-in, that is, how Microsoft uses its dominant windows operating system to promote customers to use the companys other products and crowd out alternatives.

Now, investigators are asking similar questions about Google. They recently interviewed executives of Googles competitors in July, and the inquiries became more detailed. According to people familiar with the matter, some interviewees even used whiteboards to outline the complex structure of the advertising technology market and Googles operations.

While we are still cooperating with the investigation, it is clear that our digital advertising products compete with hundreds of competitors and technologies in a crowded industry, said Google spokesman Julie tarallo McAlister. This competition increases the choice, helps to reduce the price of Internet advertisement, and reduces the cost of merchants and consumers.

Googles Web division generated more than $21 billion in revenue last year, but it grew slower than the rest of the company. Google has often framed the business as an assistant to web publishers that rely on digital advertising. But critics say Google owns and takes advantage of the market so much that advertisers and publishers are forced to use more of its products.

U.S. investigators are investigating three major categories of the advertising technology market: the seller software that web publishers use to sell ads, the buyer services marketers use to buy those ads, and the exchanges that connect the two sides. Google has the tools to provide all of these features.

The problem is that Google controls all these links, which sounds a bit like the stock market, except that Googles advertising market is not regulated, pramila jayapal, a democratic representative in Washington, said at a July 29 congressional antitrust hearing

Other advertising technology companies said Googles move cut them off from their inventory of important digital video ads. But Google says other social media sites operate in the same way, and competing ad buying services, such as Amazons, are growing without visiting YouTube.

Competitors have also complained to investigators that Google has given its dominant online search business an unfair advantage in its display advertising business. When advertisers buy search ads, Google allows them to choose to transfer any extra marketing money to display ads. That extra spending will then flow into Googles advertising network and trading platform, which many competitors cannot provide.

The budget for search advertising marketing is so large that the extra money spilled over to Googles display ads sometimes accounts for about 10% of the revenue of online publishers, so most publishers have to pay to enter Googles advertising market. Google is where you have to go, theres no better choice, said Kim Melman

A Google spokesman said web publishers could get the extra ad spending through other exchanges, but declined to say how much of those ads were sold outside Googles platform.

Neal Mohan, who once led Googles advertising technology services, said the company was creating its own bidding service. Once Google has a portfolio of bidding, buying and selling tools, it will eventually significantly increase Googles spending, Mohan said.

For many critics, the bigger concern is how Google passes information between its different departments in ways that other industries prohibit. Regulators are considering remedial measures, possibly including separating Googles ad server from other businesses, which, after all, plays a key role in advertising selection and pricing.

China is revealed to be extending its anti-monopoly investigation on Google. Ma Yun will no longer be a director of Alibaba group from now on. He still has enough control to use lithium iron phosphate battery. It is said that Tesla will launch a new domestic model 3, and Tencent will reward 10000 employees with a Huawei folding screen mobile phone. Source: editor in charge: Wang Fengzhi_ NT2541