Over the past few years, two technology terms referring to tax have become popular. While the term Apple Tax refers to the 30 percent commission Apple taxes on transactions made through services that developers don't want to use, Google Tax is very different. In the case of Google, it refers to taxes and fees designed specifically to target the company. That's because Google has become a target of investigation in nearly every western nation.
One country that has had a confusing relationship with Google has been the United States. Few laws have been created specifically against Google, but the government has been consistently wary of Google's motives and actions. For about a year, since mid-2019, the Justice Department has been investigating the company's moves and, in particular, its use of its search position to harm its competitors. The claim has been made repeatedly across the globe, with Google steal content and promoting their content. These claims date back more than a decade, and the FTC has been recommending an antitrust suit the entire time.
Those wishes form the FTC are finally going to be honored, as the Justice Department's investigation appears to be complete and a suit is imminent. The documents appear to be in the process of being drafted and could be filed by this summer. It is important to note that, while there has been speculation based on previous government investigations, the details of this particular investigation are still unknown.
The Justice Department investigation is not the only one currently underway. A group of State Attorneys General, led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, has been engaged in their investigation into the company. That investigation appears to be close to complete as well, and the group is expected to make its response known by this fall. While the two groups have occasionally worked together on their investigations, they have remained separate entities.
Google said in a statement to Business Insider,
We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton, and we don't have any updates or comments on speculation. Our focus is firmly on providing services that help consumers, support thousands of businesses, and enable increased choice and competition.