The Justice Department today filed a landmark antitrust case against Google. The hotly anticipated, long-awaited lawsuit accuses Google of using its market dominance to force unfair contract terms on suppliers and competitors, to the detriment of competition and the marketplace.
The suit might just be the biggest thing in antitrust since the DOJ sued Microsoft in the 1990s… or it might not. Even though the investigation that led here has been going on for 16 months, a suit like this is the beginning, not the end, of the process. So here’s everything we know—and more importantly, everything we still don’t—about what this blockbuster case really means.
What does the suit allege?
The complaint (PDF) lays out the case that Google used “exclusionary agreements and anticompetitive conduct” to become dominant in the search marketplace, and then kept abusing that market dominance to prevent nascent rivals from gaining enough of a toehold potentially to become real competition.