Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

As part of its antitrust inquiry into Google, the Justice Department is seeking a variety of documents and information from DuckDuckGo, a privacy-oriented search service that competes with Google, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Justice Department appears to be seeking information similar to what was gathered in an earlier EU inquiry — particularly about the types of deals and arrangements that Google and other companies have made to get their services installed by default on various devices and browsers.

The big picture: The requests for information are extremely broad. For example, the section on deals reads: "Submit all documents relating to any plans of, interest in, or efforts undertaken by the Company or any other person for any acquisition, divestiture, joint venture, alliance, or merger of any kind involving the sale of any product or service."

Among the information sought, according to an 8-page civil investigative demand sent earlier this month:

  • Any evidence or allegations that any player in the market is behaving in an anticompetitive manner.
  • Details of business deals to promote or preference its products.
  • Details on the company's revenue and expenses.

What they're saying: DuckDuckGo confirmed to Axios that it received the document request, which it referred to as a subpoena.

"While private search is only one of the privacy protection tools we offer, the subpoena concerns our experience competing in the search market, including search syndication contracts and default search deals.  We intend to cooperate with this inquiry as best we can because robust scrutiny promotes healthy competition, greater choice for users, and stronger data privacy practices."
— DuckDuckGo, in a statement to Axios
  • The company noted that it won't need to share any personal information with the government to respond to the request, given that it doesn't collect any in the first place.

Between the lines: DuckDuckGo's civil investigative demand offers a window onto the nature of similar requests that Microsoft and many other players have presumably received from the DOJ. Google disclosed last week that it had received a document request from the Justice Department.

The bigger picture: DuckDuckGo is a relatively small player in the search market, which is dominated by Google, with Microsoft and Yahoo holding a distant second and third position.

  • However, DuckDuckGo has seen its business grow significantly in recent months amid greater privacy concerns.
  • The company reported that it saw nearly 1.38 billion searches in August, up from 989 million queries during February of this year.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Trump threatens to post "60 Minutes" interview early after reportedly walking out

Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One, Oct. 19. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering posting his interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" prior to airtime in order to show "what a FAKE and BIASED interview" it was, following reports that he abruptly ended the interview after 45 minutes of taping.

Why it matters: Trump has escalated his war on the media in the final stretch of his re-election campaign, calling a Reuters reporter a "criminal" this week for not reporting on corruption allegations about Hunter Biden and disparaging CNN as "dumb b*stards" for the network's ongoing coronavirus coverage.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has urged White House negotiators not to cut a deal with Democrats on new coronavirus stimulus before the election.

Driving the news: McConnell informed Senate Republicans of the move at a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, two people familiar with his remarks tell Axios. McConnell's remarks were first reported by the Washington Post.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!