Economic Liberties’ New Explainer Lays Out What to Expect from Antitrust Cases Against Google

October 8, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — As the Department of Justice prepares its antitrust case against Google, the American Economic Liberties Project today released “What You Need to Know About Section 2 of the Sherman Act,” a new policy quick take that explains how Section 2 antitrust cases work, and what a case against Google might look like.

Passed in 1890 to break the power of some of America’s largest corporations, Section 2 of the Sherman Act focuses on single-firm conduct and makes it illegal for a single company to “monopolize, attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire” to monopolize. In 1998, the Department of Justice famously filed a Section 2 case against Microsoft for illegally protecting its dominance in the operating systems market. Now, DOJ is expected to build on its year-long investigation into Google and file a Section 2 case in coming days targeting Google’s anticompetitive conduct.

“An antitrust case against Google is long overdue,” said Sarah Miller, Executive Director of the American Economic Liberties Project. “From display advertising to general search to mobile operating systems, online video, mapping, email, and browsers, Google maintains unprecedented power over online commerce. Section 2 of the Sherman Act is a powerful tool, and it should be used to break the power Google maintains over our democracy and our economy.”

“What You Need to Know About Section 2 of the Sherman Act” also walks through the process of Section 2 cases, explaining how they’re brought, argued, and what kind of remedies are sought. It also documents the historical use of Section 2, chronicling how conservatives reoriented the focus of antitrust law and how courts and federal enforcers made it very difficult for plaintiffs to bring Section 2 cases and win.

Read “What You Need to Know About Section 2 of the Sherman Act” here.

For more information on Google’s monopoly, read “Addressing Facebook and Google’s Harms Through a Regulated Competition Approach,” available here.

Learn more about Economic Liberties  here.   


Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.