Big Tech faces additional pressure from private antitrust lawsuits.
Private lawsuits are adding to growing legal pressure on Big Tech companies.
Already, in recent months, more than 10 lawsuits have been filed against Google, Facebook or both, echoing anti-government cases. Many of them lean on the evidence related to the government’s investigation, writing David McCabe for the New York Times.
If successful, lawsuits could be costly for Facebook and Google. The companies work with millions of advertisers and publishers every year, and Google hosts apps by scores of developers, meaning there are many potential lawsuits. After the United States sued Microsoft for antitrust violations a generation ago, the company paid $ 750 million to negotiate a settlement with AOL, at which point the browser was the owner of Netscape, the government’s core of the case. Was in
Professor Joshua Davis at the University of San Francisco’s Law School said, “There is a fair amount of people going on and trying to figure out which personal suits can succeed and how to bring them.”
Facebook declined to comment on the lawsuits. A spokesman for Google, Julie Tarlow McAllister, said in a statement that the company would defend itself against the claims.
“Like other claims the court has dismissed in the past, these complaints seek to substitute a lawsuit on the merits,” she said.
Private suits follow the same from the government for one simple reason: when it comes to obtaining evidence, regulators have distinct advantages. Federal and state investigators can collect internal documents and interview officers before filing a lawsuit. As a result, their complaints are filled with insider information about the companies. Private individuals can ask for such evidence only after filing a lawsuit.
If the government’s lawsuits succeed in Google or Facebook’s lawsuits, it is likely to increase the case for private lawsuits, experts said. Lawyers can point to those victories because the evidence company broke the law and moved quickly for its primary purpose: receiving monetary damages.