President Donald Trump’s Tuesday morning attack on Google for delivering “rigged” search results met with a swift denial from the company, but Trump’s threat to address the “suppressing” of conservative voices might not be so easily dismissed.
While Trump has few direct ways of going after Google, his administration and allies in Congress could find ways to make life difficult for the company. Antitrust officials at the Justice Department or Federal Trade Commission, for example, could investigate whether the search giant is abusing its market dominance. Trump’s Republican allies in Congress could subject the company to more unpleasant, high-profile hearings. And the president’s public attacks could, over time, recast Google as a partisan player, a disturbing possibility for a company that depends on being the default search engine of choice for Americans of all political stripes.