Politico: What the Google suit may look like if Biden wins

October 21, 2020 Media

If Joe Biden wins the presidency, he’ll get the opportunity to shape the future of the Trump administration’s landmark antitrust suit against Google. And that could mean even more trouble for the search giant.

Many in Biden’s party are pushing for strong action against Google. Democratic state attorneys general refused to join the case the Justice Department filed Tuesday because they want to file a broader and more aggressive complaint. Biden is expected to take his cues for how to handle the case from those same Democratic AGs.

And with the progressive wing of the Democratic party increasingly calling for breakups of Big Tech, there will be pressure on Biden to go after the core business models of the massive internet companies that have come to dominate both the U.S. economy and everyday life.

“There is just so much momentum moving against monopoly power, particularly in tech,” said Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project. Biden will be “inheriting not just a single case from the DOJ. They are inheriting a major turning point in the way the public understands how public institutions relate to corporate power.”

While the DOJ suit is focused on allegations that Google’s contracts create unfair barriers to competitors in online search, Democratic-led states like Colorado, New York, North Carolina and Iowa are part of a bipartisan group of about 37 states that are drafting a separate suit challenging the way Google uses its search engine to favor its other businesses, along with its dominance over advertising technology.