Google appears to be in a tough spot right now as the United States Department of Justice just filed a lawsuit against the company. Reports claim it is for antitrust practices that allegedly allows the internet search giant to monopolise search results and advertising. Eleven Republican attorney generals have apparently joined the lawsuit. Now, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission(ACCC) is reportedly planning a similar approach.
Shortly after the U.S. government made its move against the Alphabet-owned company, the Australian competition watchdog's chairman Rod Sims offered his opinion on the issue. "I'm delighted the D.o.J.'s taking it on and we'll follow it really closely," he stated. "We're going to look at it and see whether there's any value in what we might do." Earlier this year, Sims was already discussing with other legislators regarding a law that would require Google to pay for news.
"As the antitrust complaint filed today explains, [Google] has maintained its monopoly power through exclusionary practices that are harmful to competition," said U.S. deputy attorney general Jeff Rosen. "If the government does not enforce the antitrust laws to enable competition, we could lose the next wave of innovation. If that happens, Americans may never get to see the next Google," he added.
Aside from Google, he likewise included Facebook in a bid to change how the two companies source their journalistic content and deliver them to their users. The bills that are being drafted will likely be presented to the Parliament of Australia by December 2020. Aside from news, the group likewise highlighted how Google might have obtained personal information inappropriately and used it to curate ads shown to users when they browse the internet, reports ABC News.
In response, a representative from Google noted that the laws suggested would "dramatically worsen Google Search and YouTube." Moreover, it might affect free services that if offers and even result in user data "being handed over to big news businesses." On the other hand, Facebook pointed out that the outcome could see Australian news content filtered out.
In a related report, Google was recently called out by users after a programmer noticed an issue with its Chrome browser on desktops. It appears the app automatically exempts first-party products such as Google Search and YouTube when the user clears cache and cookies. The developers responded by claiming it is a bug that will be fixed in a future update.