Delrahim: Criminal Case Against Anti-competitive Search Alg…

Search engines are on notice that the government is about to lower the boom on somebody.

The Department of Justice is wrapping up what it bills as a first-ever criminal case against the anticompetitive use of search algorithms in a “price-fixing scheme.”

DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim teased that case at a Senate Subcommittee hearing on antitrust enforcement Wednesday (Oct. 3) during questioning from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Related: Derahim Pledges to Speed Merger Reviews

Blumenthal asked about search algorithms used by companies “like Google or Yelp!” that use algorithms that can have “profound market effects,” like disadvantaging less tech-savvy small businesses by “guiding users away from the best option at the cheapest price.”

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