Senate Republicans on Tuesday grilled Google about its online advertising dominance and whether its threat to demonetize the Federalist commentary website was evidence that the Big Tech company had violated antitrust law.
Google threatened to remove the Federalist from its advertising platform earlier this year but backed down after the conservative website made changes to its comments section.
Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican and chair of the antitrust subcommittee, questioned Google’s Don Harrison about whether his company’s willingness to strongarm the Federalist revealed the type of heavy-handed tactics used by a monopolist.
“A private company engaging in censorship on its own platform is not a violation of antitrust laws, nevertheless as I’ve pointed out in my letter to your company on this subject, isn’t this behavior evidence of market power?” Mr. Lee asked. “In other words, why would any company want to treat its customers that way unless it was confident that its customers had no viable alternative?”