Over the past 110 years, only four monopolistic US companies have had antitrust suits brought against them. Antitrust laws protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition. Energy behemoth Standard Oil Co was broken up into 34 companies in 1911. The suit against computer giant IBM Corp first filed in 1969 was eventually withdrawn in 1982. Telecom colossus AT&T Inc was splintered into seven “Baby Bells” in 1984. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) sued software powerhouse Microsoft Corp in 1998 only to settle three years later. Last week, search engine Google — one of the five players alongside Amazon.com, Apple Inc, Microsoft and Facebook Inc that have long dominated the global tech sector — was sued by the DOJ for being a big, bad tech giant.

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