The Department of Justice could file antitrust charges against Google in the coming weeks after Attorney General Bill Barr set a deadline to wrap up work on the case by the end of September.
Career lawyers said they needed more time to build a strong case against one of the world's most wealthy companies but their requests were shot down by Justice Department officials, according to the New York Times.
Some of the 40-odd lawyers working on the investigation into Google's parent company Alphabet have voiced concern that the case is being pushed through before November so that it will be regarded as a win for the Trump administration.
The Times reports that some lawyers said they would not sign the complaint if it was filed before a full investigation could be completed, while others left the case over the summer.
Attorney General Bill Barr set an end of September deadline for lawyers to wrap up work on the federal inquiry into Google despite their protestations that more time is needed
The federal government and nearly all state attorneys general have opened investigations into allegations that Google has broken antitrust laws in a bipartisan show of strength against the internet giant.
They have been gearing up to file lawsuits for months, alleging Google has abused its dominance of online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits.
The federal probe focuses on search bias, advertising and management of Google´s Android operating system.
Three lawyers told the Times the inquiry had already amassed powerful evidence of anti-competitive practices.
The investigation has been split into two groups, one focusing on dominance in online search and the other on control over advertising.
Yet other lawmakers have called for the investigation to be widened to include Google's alleged viewpoint bias. Trump has previously claimed the company is bias against him.
The Justice Department opened its inquiry into Alphabet in June 2019 but disagreement on how broad the complaint should be and how quickly the investigation should close up have caused tensions.
Both Democrats and Republicans support the antitrust investigation into Google, but the state attorneys general conducting their own inquiries have been left split on whether or not to join the federal lawsuit or to file their own.
Republicans believe Democrats are slowing the case down so Trump's rival Joe Biden could take the credit if he wins the presidency, while Democrats believe the Republicans want to push it through in case of a Trump loss.
The divide could leave the federal case without the bipartisan support it would otherwise have.
The federal government and nearly all state attorneys general have opened investigations into allegations that Google broke antitrust laws. A federal suit may now be filed in a few weeks
Fifteen lawyers who spoke to the Times also said they believed that a deadline on completing the inquiry could give Google the upper hand.
Tensions have also arisen from some appointments to the inquiry made by Barr.
Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy attorney general, was placed in charge of the investigation, whose office would not typically oversee an antitrust case.
He hired Ryan Shores, a veteran antitrust lawyer, to lead the review.
However Barr also had a counselor from his own office, Lauren Willard, join the team as his liaison.
Barr was later forced to step in an clarify that Shores was in charge as debates over how to move forward continued.
Google is the bigger of the two online ad giants, thanks mostly to a search engine that has become synonymous with looking things up.
It currently controls about 90 percent of web searches globally.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been criticized by some of the lawyers in the case for rushing the inquiry with his deadline