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Technology 21 December 2020

The Week in Internet News: Google Faces Third U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Another game of monopoly: Attorneys general from 38 U.S. states and territories have filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, just days after 46 states and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook. The new lawsuit against Google is the third recent antitrust action against the company in recent weeks, CNet says. Ten states previously filed a lawsuit related to Google’s ad auctions, and the U.S. Department of Justice previously filed a lawsuit on Google’s browser deals with smartphone makers. The newest lawsuit targets Google’s search functionality, saying it delivered results that favored its own products over those of competitors.

Order from chaos: Meanwhile, the European Commission is threatening new regulation of big tech firms with rules to aim to “curb the hegemony of dominant multinationals and force them to be more transparent about how content is ranked, advertised and removed,” Euronews reports. Part of the goal is to allow European businesses to “freely and fairly compete online just as they do offline,” said Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

The perimeter is breached: Hackers have gotten into the IT systems of several U.S. government agencies and several other companies in a long-running attack that some officials have blamed on Russian hackers. The attack, which some observers have called the largest ever targeting the U.S. government, is creating a “grave risk” to government systems, the New York Times reports.

Access extended: The Philippines is planning to bring Internet service to rural areas with a new broadband program costing about US $40 million, The Manila Times says. The plan includes free Wi-Fi in public places and on college campuses.

How will consolidation impact the Internet? Read the Global Internet Report: Consolidation in the Internet Economy.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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