Listen: Google's Rivals Are Ready to Make Their Antitrust Case
"From news to travel and online shopping many companies have long argued that big tech platforms illegally, abused their market power, and as US officials prepare an antitrust probe of alphabet Inc. Google a crew of smaller tech rivals has a lot to say the Wall Street Journal's JR Waylon has more with reporter Ryan, Tracy in New York. So Royan as you point out in your story. Google has its hands in many areas from news to travel to online shopping, and many of its competitors in those areas, they're preparing for meetings coming up with the Justice department to move forward. That's right. Yeah. As far as we can tell from our reporting, this probe by the Justice department is in its very early stages. And so companies are getting ready to go in and make their case. They're preparing data. Now, a lot of these issues with Google have been sort of out there for a very long time. Until the companies have a lot at the ready. But there's a sense of anticipation. Now that US authorities have taken up this cause again, in, so in terms of travel, there are a lot of companies that do have an issue with Google among the high profile companies Tripadvisor and yelp could be on that list. Yes. That's right. And those are two of the more vocal critics of Google that have been out there before talking about in particular search. And the results that, that people see when they type in Google search related to travel or local restaurants in their area. Those companies say Google favors its own content content that is paid for by its advertising customers, as opposed to kind of organic content on the web, Google pushes back on that. And that, that's been a long running argument that, you know, certainly could be part of this probe. That's very early stages. And then there may be there may be other companies out there that we haven't heard of that perhaps have been less public about their complaints with Google. But would love to get a phone call from US officials as they start looking at the company and even publishers have said that Google favors its own content NewsCorp, which owns the Wall Street Journal in the past has said there might be some unfair practice going on. And, you know, Google has been down this road before in two thousand twelve involving the FTC. Yeah, that's right. And at that time, US officials decided not to try to break up the company or, or bring a case to trial. Instead, they settled with Google and got some agreements from the company to change some of its business practices. And so we'll see how this goes again in search wasn't. It was an issue in that investigation. It may be that investigators look to, to a different part of Google's business. This time for example, the advertising industry and, and the fact that Google has is dominant and many of the parts of the advertising supply chain. If you will that end up with an. Ad from the creation of the add to it being served onto your device. So there are lots of people that, that have criticized Google that already and Google's ready for that. They've heard these criticisms for years, and, and they're no slouch here. So it's going to be quite a fight, and Google has had its run ins with European regulators as well. And based on what we have seen in the past, the European regulators seem to have more teeth in sharper teeth and matters like this. Yeah. You know, it's an interesting. You know there are differences in law in the two jurisdictions and Google has had some fines that it's paid in Europe. Multibillion dollar fines we should note. It is appealing those fines European regulators are able to kind of be judge jury all in one. Whereas in the in the United States regulators if they wanna make an antitrust case than they don't get a settlement. They go to trial and have it decided in the court. So it's a slightly different system. And, and certainly we've. Seen so far, at least in, in Google is relatively short history as a company US regulators reach settlements as opposed to go to court. Whereas in Europe, there have been some big five and Google has previously cleared regulatory hurdles successfully with regard to some mergers in the past. Yeah. That's right. It's been able to acquire companies in the advertising industry. Where regulators have looked at those mergers. They've examined them for potential to harm competition and have allowed them to go through. So, you know, we'll see if anything's changed in the way that officials are viewing Google expansion, but certainly the company's going to, to make the same arguments that it made then that were"