Through payments to phone and computer manufacturers, Google has created an illegal monopoly of the U.S. market for online searches, giving it control of 81 percent of all searches on desktop and 94 percent on mobile.
In 2019, Google brought in $34.3 billion in search revenue in the United States, and that’s expected to grow to $42.5 billion by 2022. Almost 50 percent of this revenue was generated on devices made by Apple, which Google pays $8 billion to $12 billion a year to remain the default search option. Google’s payments account for roughly 15 to 20 percent of Apple’s profits.
In 2020, Democratic lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee released a report accusing Google of controlling a monopoly over online searches and ads. Two weeks later, the Justice Department’s antitrust division filed a lawsuit arguing Google has illegally protected this monopoly.
In June, legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee that would make it harder for monopolistic companies like Google to buy competitors, give preference to their own services, or use their dominance in one business to gain an upper hand in another.
These constraints on Google’s power are desperately needed.