The Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit that is about to be filed against Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google will only focus on its dominance in internet searches and not the broader issue of its digital advertising policies, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Separate lawsuits by individual state attorneys general are likely to take up that issue, as well as ways in which Google and other social media companies impose political bias.
Ready to drop the hammer
According to the Times, U.S. Attorney General William Barr is pushing for a speedier but narrower case against the tech giant, reportedly against the wishes of career Justice Department lawyers who wanted more time to make a more sweeping case against Google.
The lawsuit was sparked by investigations the department launched last year against Google, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) over possible monopolistic abuses of power. Investigations by 48 states; Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico were also initiated.
In addition to Justice Department investigations, Google and the other tech companies also face probes from Great Britain and the European Union over their practices.
Google controls 90% of all search on the internet, but it is digital advertising that accounts for virtually all of its $34 billion in annual profit. State attorneys general are almost finished building their case and could take the lead in filing a lawsuit against Google, with the Justice Department joining in afterward.
The department is preparing to advise the states on its lawsuit, which is said to be one of the last steps necessary before filing it.