California asked to join the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Google on Friday, making the state’s attorney general the first Democrat to openly support the litigation. Google, founded in 1998 and headquartered in California, has often been accused of abusing its power to exclude competitors.
The Justice Department welcomed California’s entry to the case, which says Google broke antitrust law to build and maintain dominance in search and search advertising. It is the default search engine on many devices, and its Chrome web browser and mobile operating system Android dominate the market. The department in October accused the $1 trillion California-based company of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals, and was joined by 11 other states when it was filed. Google has denied wrongdoing, and the company has said that its search engine and other products are dominant because consumers prefer them.
The US Justice Department also accuses it of forcing consumers and advertisers to use its services on Android devices on apps that cannot be deleted, such as Google Maps. On Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and prosecutors representing 48 states and territories also announced they had filed a complaint against Facebook for abusing its market dominance.