Google calls DOJ antitrust 'deeply flawed,' says customers are not forced to use services

The DOJ suit alleges that Google has used its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition

Google responded to the Justice Department’s decision to file an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant on Tuesday by calling the suit "deeply flawed" and reliant on "dubious antitrust arguments."

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"Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they're forced to, or because they can't find alternatives," Google executive Kent Walker responded. "This lawsuit would do nothing to help consumers. To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use."

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FILES LONG-AWAITED ANTITRUST SUIT AGAINST GOOGLE

Walker compared Google's practices to those of a cereal brand seeking to beat out competitors at the supermarket by paying for its products to be at eye level.

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"For digital services, when you first buy a device, it has a kind of home screen 'eye-level shelf,'" Walker said. 'On mobile, that shelf is controlled by Apple, as well as companies like AT&T, Verizon, Samsung and LG. On desktop computers, that shelf space is overwhelmingly controlled by Microsoft. So, we negotiate agreements with many of those companies for eye-level shelf space. But let's be clear—our competitors are readily available, too, if you want to use them."

In this Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, file photo, Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference on Google's collaboration with small scale local businesses in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal, File)

Lawmakers in the House and Senate welcomed the Justice Department’s suit claiming the tech behemoth used its power to preserve its monopoly via its search engine.

"Today’s lawsuit is the most important antitrust case in a generation,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said in a statement. “Google and its fellow Big Tech monopolists exercise unprecedented power over the lives of ordinary Americans, controlling everything from the news we read to the security of our most personal information. And Google in particular has gathered and maintained that power through illegal means.”

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The DOJ suit alleges that Google has used its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost profits. The suit could be an opening shot in a battle against a number of Big Tech companies in the coming months.

Fox News' Adam Shaw, Gillian Turner, Jake Gibson and Bill Mears, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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