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5 Google Cloud Takeaways From The House Antitrust Report

Donna Goodison

“As remote work became commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, Google attempted to manipulate users into using its Google Meet videoconferencing tool instead of upstart competitor Zoom,” according to the report by House Judiciary Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee.

Google Cloud allegedly tried to “manipulate” its customers into using its Google Meet videoconferencing tool instead of competitor Zoom and stifled competition by acquiring multi-cloud solutions and making them compatible only with its cloud infrastructure, according to a new federal report.

That’s according to a congressional panel’s report that attacks the market power of Google – along with fellow tech giants Amazon, Apple and Facebook – and targets them for antitrust reforms including increased vetting of its acquisitions and potentially breakups of their businesses.

The report points to Google Cloud as a core platform that Google is heavily investing in with acquisitions, “positioning itself to dominate the ‘internet of things,’ the next wave of surveillance technologies.”

The House Judiciary Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee, chaired by U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), released its 450-page “Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets” report Tuesday after a 16-month investigation that included testimony by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet.

“Whether through self-preferencing, predatory pricing or exclusionary conduct, the dominant platforms have exploited their power in order to become even more dominant,” the report states. “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons. Although these firms have delivered clear benefits to society, the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google has come at a price. These firms typically run the marketplace while also competing in it -- a position that enables them to write one set of rules for others while they play by another or to engage in a form of their own private quasi-regulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”

In a statement, Google said it competes “fairly in a fast-moving and highly competitive industry” and disagrees with the subcommittee’s findings, “which feature outdated and inaccurate allegations from commercial rivals about Search and other services.”

Click through to read about Google Cloud’s allegedly manipulative videoconferencing moves, what the House subcommittee’s report says about Google Cloud’s market dominance and how its acquisitions allegedly limit competition -- along with Google’s full response.

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