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Google hit with third antitrust lawsuit as US states sue over search monopoly

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Google faced its third major lawsuit in two months on as 38 US states and territories filed an antitrust complaint accusing Google of seeking to extend its search monopoly to dominate smart speakers, televisions and cars. The lawsuit has accused Google of abusing its market power to try to make its search engine as dominant inside cars, TVs, and speakers.

The lawsuit against the parent company Alphabet Inc. follows years of complaints that it and other big tech firms like Facebook and Amazon use their market power to beat competitors in search of profits.

The states have requested the court to find Google guilty of breaking the antitrust law and to order an end to any agreements or other behavior that it finds to be exclusionary. It also raised the possibility of requiring asset sales but did not get into any detail.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who helps lead 38-state suit against Google, said, “The states have not asked for any kind of monetary relief. Fines are like kicking the big ones. However, we fortunately have remedies that are far broader in scope.”

In response to the lawsuit, Google reiterated and echoed its view that the competition in search engine market was tough, saying that its rivals included TripAdvisor and Expedia and that and any changes it made had been to benefit the consumers.

Adam Cohen, the Director of Economic Policy for Google, said in a blog post, “We are looking forward to making that case in court.”

As per Colorado Attorney General’s office statement, “The states are asking for their lawsuit to be consolidated with one filed by the Justice Department in October.”

The complaint in the court mainly aims on Google’s search business and the company’s search advertising, as well as what they said was an effort by Google to use exclusionary agreements to also dominate newer technologies. This would exclude competing virtual assistant technology such as Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa.

The accusation have been built on concerns publicly conveyed by speaker maker Sonos and other companies that say Google has acted unfairly to grow its market power.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said that Google is preventing competitors in the voice assistant market from reaching consumers through connected cars, which stand to be a significant way that the internet is accessed in the near future.”

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