According to a recent report, search engine DuckDuckGo’s CEO says that federal and state authorities are asking detailed questions targeting Google’s overwhelming dominance of the search market.
Bloomberg reports that Google rival DuckDuckGo says that federal and state authorities are asking detailed questions about the best way to limit Google’s power in the online search market as part of antitrust investigations into the firm.
The CEO of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, stated that the company has spoken with state regulators and the DOJ within the past few weeks. Justice Department officials and state attorneys general reportedly asked DuckDuckGo about requiring Google to give consumers alternatives to its search engine on Android devices and in the Google Chrome web browser.
Weinberg told Bloomberg: “We’ve been talking to all of them about search and all of them have asked us detailed search questions.” Winberg’s comments appear to indicate that the search engine, one of Google’s core businesses, is under great scrutiny in antitrust probes.
The DOJ and Texas are reportedly already examining Google’s dominance in the digital advertising market. The Justice Department alongside a coalition of states led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have been investigating Google for a year and a lawsuit has already been drafted by the DOJ which could be filed within the next few months.
The investigation into Google covers all of the company’s products but states including Utah and Iowa are focusing specifically on search according to individuals with knowledge of the matter. Texas is focusing on the digital ad market and any related technology.
Google’s search business handles most of the online searches in the U.S. with Microsoft’s Bing and DuckDuckGo trailing far behind. The business generated almost $100 billion in revenue last year.
A Google spokesperson previously commented on the antitrust investigations stating: “We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton, and we don’t have any updates or comments on speculation.”
Weinberg added that the questions he has answered recently about Google indicate that a possible future settlement may be included in a lawsuit. “That’s one direction we think has a decent probability,” he added. The Justice Department refused to comment while Bloomberg received no comments from the Attorneys general lin Utah and Iowa.