The Federal Trade Commission is planning to file a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, alleging that the search engine company violated antitrust laws by paying millions of dollars to the US government.
Google will pay the government $20 million for its alleged violation of the Federal Trade Act of 1934, which prohibits the government from taking advantage of its monopoly position in a way that disadvantages competition.
The FTC claims that Google is “taking advantage of a federal monopoly” to “compete against other companies in the marketplace for information and data that it could not have obtained otherwise.”
The company was also accused of taking advantage “of a federal government monopoly” by using its dominance in search to pressure the government into giving it an edge in online advertising.
Google has said that it has never used its dominance over search to disadvantage competition, and it has been under pressure from the FTC and other antitrust regulators in recent years.
The agency alleges that Google “has repeatedly and maliciously used its position to take advantage of an unfair federal government program” and has used its monopoly power to promote its own products and services.
Google also claims that it “will vigorously defend against the FTC’s allegations, including seeking to invalidate the Commission’s complaint and/or any portion thereof.”
Google has already settled a similar antitrust case with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which levied a $6.9 million fine against the search giant in 2017.
However, the FTC has alleged that Google has failed to follow through on its antitrust complaints in recent months.
“Google has continued to abuse its dominant position in search, with a large number of its competitors failing to participate in or compete with Google,” the agency said in a filing in January.
“In response to the Commission complaints, Google has paid $20.2 million and has agreed to a settlement that is in full compliance with the antitrust laws and the FTC Act.”
The FTC has also filed a complaint against Facebook, accusing it of violating antitrust laws.
In March, Facebook paid $250 million to settle a similar lawsuit with the agency.
The company said it would take action against “any violations of antitrust law, including allegations of conspiracy.”
In its complaint against Google, the FCC said that “it will vigorously pursue its antitrust claims against Google and Facebook.”
In January, Facebook said that the FTC will “take swift and appropriate action” against Google if it continues to violate antitrust laws, saying that the company will “seek to invalidating the Commission complaint.”
In addition to the FTC, the US Justice Department also filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company in January, which alleged that it is “abusing its dominant market position” by “failing to maintain or improve its products and platforms” and that it failed to comply with federal antitrust law.
Google is expected to file the antitrust complaint on Tuesday.