DOJ Google Case Background Materials

The Department of Justice is planning to launch a case against Google, alleging that the company has engaged in anticompetitive conduct in how it distributes Google Search on smartphones and browsers. The case is likely to be a landmark in US jurisprudence and ICLE will be providing analysis on it as it progresses. This page will be maintained as a one-stop shop for our work on the case, updated regularly.

Many of the issues raised by the Dept of Justice have previously been considered in other cases and jurisdictions. Below is a selection of our commentary on and analysis of these issues, provided to give background to some of the most important aspects of this case.

The Real Reason Foundem Foundered

A pair of recent, long-form articles in the New York Times Magazine and Wired UK — the latest in a virtual journalistic cottage industry of such articles — chronicle the downfall of British price comparison site and stalwart Google provocateur, Foundem, and attribute its demise to anticompetitive behavior on the part of Google.

A Critical Assessment of the Latest Charge of Google’s Anticompetitive Bias

Late last year, Tim Wu of Columbia Law School (and now the White House Office of Management and Budget), Michael Luca of Harvard Business School (and a consultant for Yelp), and a group of Yelp data scientists released a study claiming that Google has been purposefully degrading search results from its more-specialized competitors in the area of local search.

THE THEORY OF ABUSE IN GOOGLE SEARCH

In its investigation into Google’s search practices, Google Search, the Commission alleges that Google abuses its dominant position on the web search market by giving systematic favourable treatment to its “comparison shopping product” (namely, “Google Shopping”) in its general search results pages.

How Much Search Bias Is There?

My last two posts on search bias (here and here) have analyzed and critiqued Edelman & Lockwood’s small study on search bias.  This post extends this same methodology and analysis…