Google to face US antitrust probe over new internet protocol use

Google to face US antitrust probe over new internet protocol use
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Reuters
30 Sep, 2019

Tech giant Google will face an antitrust probe in the United States over gaining an unfair competitive advantage via an internet protocol that it plans to release through its web browser Chrome next month.

Google is under investigation by the US House Judiciary Committee for implementing the domain name system over hypertext transfer protocol secure or more commonly known as  DNS-over-HTTPS in its web browser, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

DNS-over-HTTPS is a new standard that supposedly takes security and internet privacy to the next level through encryption of the data. 

Google said it plans to start testing the upgraded protocol next month in a bid to counter hackers’ ability to target specific websites. 

The United States House of Representatives, in an official letter to Google, had asked the tech giant if it will be utilising the data flowing through the internet protocol for commercial purposes. 

The concerns are primarily over Google gaining an unfair advantage over its competitors by denying access to data, the report said. 

In response to the concerns of the house, a Google spokesperson was reported to have said that the company had no plans to centralise or change the DNS to Google by default. 

“Any claim that we are trying to become the centralised encrypted DNS provider is inaccurate," the person said.

The new ordeal for Google began earlier this month when close to 50 US states, through the Attorneys General, came together to investigate whether Google and Facebook were overly dominant in online advertising and in Internet searches. 

In March, the European Union slapped a fine of $1.7 billion on Google for blocking rivals and pushing its services in the online search market. 

The European Commission had said Google has imposed several restrictive clauses which blocked its rivals from placing their search advertisements on the particular websites. 

Google was anticipated to receive a notification when the US Department of Justice said that it planned to file a case against Google in June this year. 

Amid the growth of widespread tech adoption, especially Big Data, the scrutiny has clearly transferred to big tech companies and their methods of collecting data directly or indirectly.