Google has been at the target of US congress for quite a while now. And in its attempt to crack down the internet giant, the US government has asked Google to present information on how its search engine works and makes money, seeking to prove that the internet giant is a monopoly.
According to sources, the U.S. Department of Justice and several state attorneys general are seeking comparable data on U.S. search results and related ads from Feb. 2, 2015, to Feb. 8, 2015, and from Feb. 3, 2020, to Feb. 9, 2020.
The search engine is being asked to share data on how and where users searched in those periods, the number of different types of ads, revenue from those ads, and what the underlying bids were for them, among other details.
Google has been provided with 30 days to hand over the information. Sources report that the Department of Justice wants to compare how Google presented search results and ads six years ago versus one year ago.
It says that this will help the government understand how the company’s grip on the search market evolved.
The original suit was filed by the Justice Department under former U.S. President Donald Trump and 11 Republican attorneys general originally filed the suit. Since then, three other states have joined, including California, the site of Google’s headquarters. The latest data request shows the government is pressing ahead under a new administration led by Democrat Joe Biden.
The U.S. government also alleges in its suit that Google’s exclusive deals to distribute its search engine on browsers and phones, including Apple’s iPhones, violates the Sherman Act’s prohibition on monopolization.
But, Google argues its deals do not prohibit its users to change the search engine if they want to, even android users can do the same.