Why Google’s Entire Company May Be Broken Up By The Government

In addition to lawsuits from the Trump Administration, The Justice Department announced its second significant antitrust lawsuit against Google.

By Jennifer Hollohan | Updated

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The Justice Department set its sights on Google once again. And this time, the news appears bleak for the tech giant. Once the dust from the court cases settles in a few years, there may be an opening for other companies to vie for tech dominance. 

In case you weren’t following the news years ago, you may not be aware of a lawsuit the Trump Administration filed against Google. At the time, the Justice Department wanted to go after the company for its hold on search engines. More specifically, the administration expressed concern over Google’s ability to leverage its dominance to stifle competition.

But it wasn’t just the might of the federal government going after Google in 2020. Eleven state attorneys general agreed to sign onto the antitrust lawsuit. However, many believed the Biden administration would not follow through on legal actions designed to break up monopolies.

It appears those fears never came to fruition. This week, the Justice Department announced its second significant antitrust lawsuit against Google. According to CNN, the department “accused Google of running an illegal monopoly in its online advertising business and called for parts of it to be broken up.”

Additionally, the federal government requested that the courts undo a couple of recent acquisitions, which they allege helped to form Google’s monopoly. The company was swift to respond. “Google said the Justice Department is ‘doubling down on a flawed argument’ and that the latest suit ‘attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector.’” 

But the latest news out of Washington D.C. is only one of the woes plaguing the tech giant. The announcement came only days after the company announced a round of massive layoffs. It intends to cut its staffing by 12,000 people. 

Additionally, there are concerns that the recent release of ChatGPT may pose a significant risk to Google. The AI technology, developed by OpenAI, has taken the internet world by storm in recent months. Even one of the co-developers of Gmail voiced a dire warning about the chatbot. 

Paul Buchheit said, “Google may be only a year or two away from total disruption. AI will eliminate the Search Engine Result Page, which is where they make most of their money. Even if they catch up on AI, they can’t fully deploy it without destroying the most valuable part of their business!”

For its part, Google has its own AI chatbot. And that program made news headlines in 2022 after an engineer working on the program spoke out publicly. According to the engineer, LaMDA (the AI program in question) gained sentience. 

While Google swiftly terminated his employment and denied his claims, many will remember his story. It raises many questions about the future and ethics of AI tools. However, the company has no immediate intentions of replacing its search engine with an AI chat feature. 

Additionally, the company’s public stance is that it is not worried about programs like ChatGPT. While novel and fun to play with, they likely won’t take over search engines anytime soon. But what Google does need to worry about is the Justice Department’s apparent singular focus on breaking up its monopoly on parts of the industry.