DOJ is reportedly preparing antitrust lawsuits against Facebook and Google

The antitrust pressure against both companies may increase early next year.

It’s only been a few months since the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, but it sounds legal battles are on the horizon. According to The Wall Street Journal, both federal and state antitrust authorities will be filing new lawsuits against Google and Facebook. This would mark the first time that Facebook has been sued by the government on antitrust grounds.

Google has made plenty of statements in the past defending its practices, essentially saying that consumers aren’t forced to use Google products and services and that they exist as part of a competitive technology marketplace. Broadly speaking, the case against Google is that it uses its dominance in search and search advertising to box out potential competitors; among its tactics is paying to have Android phone manufacturers set Google search as default and pre-loading devices with Google apps. The company also pays to have Google set as the default search engine on the iPhone, as well.

A potential case against Facebook would likely delve into whether the company abuses its position to stifle competition or puts user data at risk — the former claim will likely take a close look at the company’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

While these new cases may not be filed until early January, Google is already preparing to battle the antitrust suit filed in October, and the FTC could file charges against Facebook quite soon as well. Reports indicated an FTC suit could arrive by late November, but that timeline seems unlikely at this point. But there’s no doubt that Facebook will soon come under close scrutiny, especially when you consider that President-elect Joe Biden has made it clear that he has issues with Facebook’s propensity for spreading fake news.

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