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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Federal and state antitrust enforcers have been gathering thoughts from privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo about potential remedies to address competitive harms stemming from Google's dominance in search.

Why it matters: The Justice Department and states are reportedly preparing to bring antitrust cases against Google this year. The remedies they're feeling out now could feature in the concessions they may seek from Google, either in court or through a settlement.

Details: DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg told Axios that antitrust investigators have been asking about a push from the company to force Google to create a preference menu for Android users to easily switch to a different search provider.

  • Google created such a menu after the European Union's $5 billion fine against the company over competition concerns involving the Android mobile operating system.
  • Weinberg says DuckDuckGo has issues with how Google has gone about deploying that menu in the EU, but it has told U.S. regulators that it would nevertheless be one way to address some of "Google's monopoly issues" very quickly, including potentially through a settlement that would avoid a drawn-out court battle.
  • "The U.S has the opportunity to leapfrog the EU and do it right," Weinberg said.

The other side: "We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and (Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton), and we don’t have any updates or comments on speculation," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Our focus is firmly on providing services that help consumers, support thousands of businesses, and enable increased choice and competition."

Flashback: The Federal Trade Commission previously investigated Google's search practices but closed its probe in 2013 without taking enforcement action.

  • Weinberg said the market has shifted since then and he believes search is worth another look. His company received a civil investigative demand last year from the Justice Department that asked questions about search as part of the Google probe.
  • "All I can say is, there's interest and so that should mean something," Weinberg said.

Go deeper

Zuckerberg describes "tension" between data privacy and antitrust regulation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told "Axios on HBO" that calls for data privacy and antitrust regulation in tech are often at odds.

Why it matters: Democrats and Republicans have pushed for antitrust enforcement as a cure for any number of Big Tech ills, and Americans feel frustrated that they don't have more control over their personal data when using digital services.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.