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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.

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
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Derek Chauvin, 3 former officers indicted on federal civil rights charges

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

A federal grand jury Friday has indicted Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis officers for civil rights violations related to the death of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The new charges mean the officers could face another high-profile criminal trial following a yearlong racial reckoning across the nation.