- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A social media site frequented by conservatives and billed as an alternative to Twitter has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google.

Monopoly players, get ready to rumble.

The site Gab — the same social media site used by Milo Yiannopoulos, after he was booted from Twitter a few months ago — accused that Google unfairly removed its app from the Play Store. And the “unfairly” comes because even though Google is a private market business, rather than government-run, fact is, the feds do indeed have the power — nay the responsibility, some would say — to reel in those companies that are seen as having too much of the market share and then using that standing to drive out competitors,

Just ask ye olde Ma Bell how antitrust suits go. Better known as AT&T, the company lost its gold star regard from the government back in the 1980s, after the filing of a suit under the Sherman Antitrust Act. It was forced to break up; thus, came the Baby Bells.

Gab’s hoping for a similar win.

“Google Play and Android have monopoly power in the app store market, and Google’s apps YouTube and Google+ compete directly against Gab,” said Marc Randazza, the attorney for the company, in a statement reported by the Hill. “Google’s intimate partnership with Twitter, which also competes against Gab, makes Google’s control of all Android apps available through the Play Store a serious restraint of trade issues.”

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The outcome could send shock waves. Gab alleges Google only removed the app after Gab employees criticized the firing of a Google worker who spoke openly of gender discrimination at the tech giant.

But even without that taint, fact is: Google’s got the lion’s share of the internet market. And for a market that’s supposed to be free, the sniff of monopoly — the whiff of company control and anti-competitor action — sure does waft in the wind.

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