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Google sued by states over abuse of dominance in search

Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley joins Kristin Myers to discuss the latest on Google's third antitrust suit.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, some breaking news when it comes to Google, the company being hit with its third antitrust lawsuit since October. I want to turn to Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley now with more of those details. Hi, Dan, what can you tell us?

DAN HOWLEY: That's right, Kristin, this is the third antitrust lawsuit filed against Google. The first was with the DOJ and 11 state attorneys generals, Republican state attorneys general. The second was yesterday. It was a lawsuit led by Texas's AG, and include nine others attorneys general. And then today, this is 38 attorneys general filing suit against Google. This kind of overlaps with the DOJ's case in that it talks about some of the search exclusionary deals that Google had put in place, including Apple, primarily with the $12 to $18 million-- sorry, billion-dollar payments that the company would receive from using Google.

But this goes even further. It talks about the way Google sets up its search. When you see the box at the top of the screen, if you search for something, they reference in the complaint a plumber in Denver, that you get at the top of the screen some advertisements giving you reviews, below that another ad, and then below the fold, which is after you have to scroll down or click to another page, that's where they'll actually start to show the organic search results. And the complaint basically says that that's disadvantaging other platforms.

And then this is also something that we saw Yelp complaining about for years, where they said that basically Google was taking their business away by offering these kinds of reviews, and then disadvantaging them in the actual search results. So this is kind of a mix of the complaints that we were expecting all along. These three suits really hit at the core of Google's business itself, the advertising division and the search division.

They also go into in this complaint the search advertising tool that Google has, [? SA360. ?] That basically says in the complaint that they advantage themselves as far as their own advertising platform goes in the search tool with Google, which Google says is supposed to be neutral. So a lot of accusations here, obviously, coming. And this is just part of a litany of suits we're expecting to continue to come forward from big tech. But we've already seen, obviously, this being Google, and we're expecting to see more from Amazon and Apple. Facebook just recently hit. So it'll just keep on coming.

KRISTIN MYERS: Absolutely. We've been talking about this a lot. All of the regulatory risks serving as headwinds to some of those big tech companies that have done so well throughout this pandemic. Dan Howley, thanks so much for bringing us that update.