The U.S. Justice Department is preparing an anti-trust investigation of Google and is expected to examine the tech giant's "search and other businesses."
The Federal Trade Commission, which investigated Google several years ago, is deferring the investigation to the DOJ this time, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"With turf now settled, the department is preparing to closely examine Google’s business practices related to its search and other businesses, the people said," according to The Journal. "It couldn’t immediately be learned whether Google has been contacted by the department. Third-party critics of the search giant, however, already have been in talks with Justice Department officials, some of the people familiar with the matter said."
"The report comes amid discussion from politicians and the public about whether large technology companies should be broken up," CNBC reported. "The Justice Department launched a major antitrust case against Microsoft in 1998 that led to several rules the company had to follow for years."
"Alphabet, which racked up $136.8 billion in revenue in 2018, has faced antitrust pressure in the past," CNBC added. "In 2010, the company faced antitrust complaints from the European Commission regarding ranking of shopping search results and ads, which resulted in Google paying $2.7 billion in 2017. In 2016, the EC complained of certain Android practices to which the company recognized a charge of $5.1 billion in the second quarter of 2018."
The Verge noted that Google has dominated "positions in the markets for search engines, web browsers, mobile operating systems, email, and numerous other product categories, all of which aid in its ability to collect data and serve targeted ads."
President Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against Google, which has been accused by many of having a strong anti-conservative bias.
"Google search results for 'Trump News' shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD," Trump tweeted. "Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!"
"The only 'Collusion' is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others," Trump said in a tweet last November. "Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!"
In December, Trump tweeted: "Facebook, Twitter and Google are so biased toward the Dems it is ridiculous! Twitter, in fact, has made it much more difficult for people to join @realDonaldTrump. They have removed many names & greatly slowed the level and speed of increase. They have acknowledged-done NOTHING!"
This March, Trump tweeted: "Facebook, Google and Twitter, not to mention the Corrupt Media, are sooo on the side of the Radical Left Democrats. But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA"