U.S. regulators are considering an option where Alphabet Inc(NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) could be forced to split part of its advertising business, along with its web browser Google Chrome, according to Politico. The company could be forced to sell these operations as an attempt to limit the tech titan’s dominance in the digital advertising space.
Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and Google are warding off lawsuits and antitrust probes for a variety of reasons ranging from monopolistic business practices, acquisition of smaller rivals, and their handling of fake news on social media — both in the U.S. and Europe.
What Happened: U.S. Department of Justice could file a separate antitrust lawsuit against Google sometime next week, reports Politico. The lawsuit would focus on the tech company’s dominant position in online search, which furthers its presence in the digital advertising business. There are indications that regulators would force a sale of Google Chrome and a portion of Google’s ad businesses, — if enforced, could be the first court-approved sanction to split a U.S. tech company.
Why Does It Matter: Google Chrome led the web browser market share with 66% in the 12 months leading up to September based on global statistics published by Statcounter. Chrome held more than 64% share in the mobile browser market segment giving the company an unfair advantage in the $162.3 billion digital ad market worldwide, according to Politico.
Price Action: Alphabet Class A shares closed 1.825% higher at $1,510.45 and Class C shares closed 1.97% higher at $1,515.22 on Friday.