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A decision by the Justice Department to file antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google could be delayed until March 2022 or later due to ongoing discussions and concerns about the federal government’s budget.
Earlier, the Department of Justice planned to complete investigations into Apple and Google before December 31. However, discussions about where to file the complaints and who to call are delaying that decision until March or later, Politico reported Thursday.
Concerns about the government budget also play a role. The costs of a legal battle against tech giants like Apple and Google are reportedly burdened by the collapse of the Build Back Better social spending bill. The bill would have netted the DOJ $500 million in antitrust enforcement.
While Senate Democrats plan to vote on the $1.7 trillion bill in January, the DOJ is reportedly considering what antitrust cases could move forward with current funding levels. However, sources within the DOJ argue that decisions will be based on legal value.
In Google’s case, the DOJ sued tech giant Mountain View in 2020 for using its power to stamp out competition. However, Politics reports that the DOJ’s Google investigation is still ongoing and could lead to a new lawsuit.