SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) — California is seeking to join the Justice Department in its antitrust lawsuit against Google parent Alphabet Inc., one of the state’s largest businesses.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed the motion to join the case in federal court on Friday.

“By using exclusionary business agreements to dominate the market, Google has stifled competition and rigged the advertising market,” Becerra said.

The Justice Department sued Google in October. The case, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleges that Google uses billions of dollars collected from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers. This, the lawsuit claims, harms consumers and stifles smaller rivals.

“Google’s anticompetitive behavior has unlawfully maintained the company’s monopoly on internet search and search-based advertising at the expense of consumers,” said Becerra.

Eleven states, all with Republican attorneys general, joined the federal government in the lawsuit at the time. California is the first Democratic state announcing its intent to join the Justice Department’s case.

Along with the Federal Trade Commission and 47 other states and territories, Becerra also sued Facebook this week for allegedly violating federal antitrust laws by buying smaller competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp to maintain a monopoly. Also this week, President-elect Joe Biden picked Becerra to be his health secretary

Google, which is based in Mountain View, California, has until Dec. 18 to respond to the state’s motion.

The company said it is “confident” in its position and will continue to make its case in court.

“People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives,” it said in a statement.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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