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The 20 Top News Stories Of 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IT industry’s response to the social justice movement, a failed corporate takeover attempt, the division of the oldest IT vendor into two companies, and the most extensive cyberattack in years. It has been a very tumultuous 2020.

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19. Google, Facebook Targets Of U.S. Government Lawsuits

Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google have been under increased government scrutiny in recent years for their business practices, acquisitions and other activities that critics say are anti-competitive and violate antitrust laws.

This year that scrutiny turned to legal action when the U.S. Department of Justice and 11 states filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued Facebook in a bid to unwind its acquisitions.

In a lawsuit filed Oct. 20, the DOJ called Google “a monopoly gatekeeper” and said the company has “willfully maintained and abused its monopoly power” in general search services, search advertising and general search text advertising through “anti-competitive and exclusionary distribution agreements” in violation of antitrust laws.

The lawsuit is the biggest antitrust case since the U.S. government’s lawsuit against Microsoft in 1998. Google, in a statement, called the lawsuit “deeply flawed.”

In early October a 450-page report from the House Judiciary Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee concluded that Google Cloud tried to manipulate customers into using its Google Meet videoconferencing tool instead of rival Zoom and said the company tried to stifle competition by acquiring multi-cloud solutions and making them compatible only with its own cloud infrastructure.

On Dec. 9, meanwhile, the FTC filed its own antitrust lawsuit against Facebook maintaining that Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp constituted anti-competitive behavior and could force Facebook to divest the two applications.

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