While bulls had comforted themselves that amid a "work from home" pandemic lockdown, any regulatory actions against the mega-tech firms would likely be put on hold, it appears that is not the fact.
The Wall Street Journal reports that both the Justice Department and a group of state attorneys general are likely to file antitrust lawsuits against Alphabet's Google - and are well into planning for litigation.
According to people familiar with the matter, The Justice Department is moving toward bringing a case as soon as this summer.
The timeline confirms AG Barr's previous comments in March that he wanted the Justice Department to make a final call this summer. “I’m hoping that we bring it to fruition early summer,” Mr. Barr said at the time.
“And by fruition I mean, decision time.”
Much of the states’ investigation has focused on Google’s online advertising business.
Mr. Paxton, Texas AG, said the pandemic was not slowing the states’ efforts.
“We’ve issued [civil subpoenas] to Google and impacted third parties. We hope to have the investigation wrapped up by fall,” Mr. Paxton said in a statement.
“If we determine that filing is merited we will go to court soon after that.”
This sent shares in GOOGL lower after hours...
As The Journal concludes, the lawsuits - if they are filed - could pose a direct threat to Google’s businesses and rank among the most significant antitrust cases in U.S. history, alongside the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. in the late 1990s.