Google might catch a break thanks to Barr’s decision to impose a deadline on the DOJ’s investigation
The report claims that Justice Department officials ordered the greater than 40 lawyers working on the case to wrap things up by the end of September. However, most of the aforementioned attorneys were against the DOJ deadline with many threatening not to sign any complaint against Alphabet. Most of the lawyers considered the deadline to be arbitrary. Now this doesn’t mean that the attorneys think that Alphabet and Google should get off scott free. Instead, those opposing the deadline believe that a strong case against Alphabet could be made even stronger by not running into a deadline. There was also some disagreement among the lawyers over how broad the complaint should be and over what actions they will demand that Google take to settle any complaint.
Some of the lawyers said that they believe the DOJ placed an early deadline on the investigation so that Attorney General Bill Barr could announce the case in September. That would allow the nation’s top law enforcement official to give credit to the Trump administration for taking down one of the country’s top tech firms. Barr is a former telecom executive who has been studying the case while on vacation. 15 of the 40 lawyers working on the case or briefed on it said (on an anonymous basis for fear of retribution) that putting a deadline on the investigation could improve Google’s chances of winning an anti-trust battle.
requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome apps, paying manufacturers to only have Google Search pre-installed, and for not allowing manufacturers to sell phones with unapproved Android versions.
The lawyers assigned to the Google portion of the investigation were broken into two teams. One group handled Google’s domination in search while the other team focused on its control of online advertising. The assignment for the lawyers involved in investigating Alphabet was considered to be a desirable one with some calling it the case of the century, equal to the breakup of the Standard Oil Company in 1911. The case also gives the U.S. Justice Department the chance to catch up with its European counterparts who had already ordered that Google pay $5 billion for its anti-competitive behavior.