It’s about time.
In a speech today, the top antitrust official at the United States Department of Justice assailed Google and Amazon as “digital gatekeepers” that are the “only significant players” in several crucial markets.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google loomed large over [Makan] Delrahim’s speech — first as a potential beneficiary of the U.S. government’s antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., and then as a company that pursued potentially problematic agreements itself in the search market.
Delrahim described “coordinated conduct that creates or enhances market power,” citing a proposed 2008 agreement between Google and Yahoo to have the former power search ads for the latter. The department told the companies it would file suit against the agreement and the companies backed away, Delrahim said.
The DOJ recently launched an industry probe and is reportedly investigating Google, while the FTC is looking into Amazon.
Interestingly, Delrahim is a former lobbyist for Google, and this has prompted calls for him to recuse himself from the Google investigation by other Google critics.