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Watchdog Group Calls for Antitrust Probe into YouTube’s Home Entertainment Dominance

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Several tech and competition watchdog groups have urged the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to initiate an antitrust investigation into YouTube, a platform owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

This request comes amid growing concerns over YouTube’s burgeoning influence in the home entertainment sector.

As first reported by Reuters, the call for an investigation is led by the American Economic Liberties Project and Demand Progress, along with nine other advocacy groups.

Group Urges for Antitrust Probe Into YouTube’s Home Entertainment Offerings

In a letter dated June 11, 2024, addressed to Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, these groups highlight their concerns about YouTube’s expansive market power and potentially anti-competitive behavior.

The watchdog groups argue that YouTube’s dominance is not just confined to online video streaming but extends to broader home entertainment markets.

They assert that YouTube’s pre-installation on smartphones and TVs sold in the US is a strategic move to crowd out competitors and lock in customers.

The letter emphasizes that YouTube has a decade-long history of using its market position to force bundled services on consumers, making it harder for rivals to compete.

Read Also: YouTube Skips to End of Videos When Using Adblockers-New Tactic Employed?

RUSSIA-INTERNET-YOUTUBE
(Photo : KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
This picture taken in Moscow on October 12, 2021 shows the logo of Youtube social media on a smartphone screen.

How Google Dominates the Home Entertainment Market with YouTube

This call for scrutiny comes at a time when Alphabet reported robust financial performance from YouTube. In April 2024, Alphabet disclosed that YouTube generated more than $8 billion in quarterly ad revenue, marking a 21% increase from the same period the previous year.

According to audience analytics firm Nielsen, YouTube has been the most-watched US streaming service for over a year, underscoring its significant presence in the market.

The advocacy groups are particularly concerned about YouTube TV, Alphabet’s subscription streaming service. As the fourth largest paid TV service in the US, YouTube TV is poised to become the top service by 2026. In March 2024 alone, YouTube accounted for about 10% of all TV viewership in the US, illustrating its dominant position.

Google and Antitrust Allegations

This is not Alphabet’s first brush with antitrust scrutiny. Google is already embroiled in two antitrust lawsuits brought by the DOJ and several states.

These cases allege that Google monopolizes the online search market and dominates digital advertising technology. Despite these legal challenges, Google maintains that its market successes are achieved through lawful means.

Speaking with Reuters, a YouTube spokesperson responded to the allegations by stating, “Anyone looking for something to watch can see this space is very competitive.”

The company argues that it competes head-to-head with other streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+, as well as video platforms such as Meta’s Instagram and TikTok.

The letter from the watchdog groups concludes by urging the DOJ to prioritize an investigation into YouTube’s practices to prevent further entrenchment of Google’s monopoly and protect market competition.

They argue that YouTube’s integration with smart TVs and Google TV reduces consumer choice and increases costs, making it difficult for smaller technology and entertainment companies to compete.

Stay posted here at Tech Times.

Related Article: YouTube Age Restrictions for Gun Videos Coming After Recommendations to Children Appeared

Tech Times Writer John Lopez

ⓒ 2024 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


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