Sunday, September 24, 2023

Why is the US suing Google for antitrust violations?

September 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general will begin an antitrust trial in Washington on Tuesday, alleging that Google, part of the Alphabet group, illegally abused the its dominant position in the car engine market. to maintain monopoly power.

The main issues in the case are explained below.


The United States and its allied states maintain that Google illegally stifles competition by paying billions of dollars to Apple and other trading partners to ensure that its search engine is the default for most phones and web browsers.

The government’s lawsuit, filed in 2020 in federal court, alleges that Google intended these agreements to be “exclusive,” denying rivals access to search queries and queries. -click and allowed Google to strengthen its market dominance.

Google has gained 90% market share in US searches in recent years, according to government estimates. According to the Government, browser agreements, which direct billions of web queries to Google each day, have reduced consumer choice and innovation.


Google sees things very differently. The company, which maintains it has not violated antitrust laws, claimed in a January court filing that its browser deals were “legitimate competition” and not “wrongful exclusion.”

The agreements do not prevent rivals from developing their own search engines or prevent companies such as Apple and Mozilla from promoting them, Google argued.

Instead, phone and web browser makers make Google search the default because they want to offer the “highest quality” experience to their customers, Google admitted in a January filing.

Google also claims that mobile users can easily switch if they want to use another search engine.


It is generally not illegal for a company to reach an agreement with one customer to the exclusion of others. In fact, these types of exclusive agreements are common and do not attract much regulatory scrutiny if a company lacking market power does not affect competition.

But exclusive agreements may violate antitrust law if a company is so large or powerful that it prevents rivals from entering the market and cannot demonstrate that its restrictions on competition in the sector are offset by a positive effect on consumers.

The Justice Department has the burden of proving that Google’s business deals have harmed search competition. Google will get its own chance at the bench trial, after the government presents its case, to argue that its deals benefit consumers.


The US and allied states are not seeking economic sanctions, but rather a court order prohibiting Google from continuing its alleged anti-competitive practices.

Such an order could have significant business implications for Google. For example, the Government said in its lawsuit that the court could dissolve the company as a possible solution.

More broadly, the Justice Department could argue that it wants to prevent Google from using its alleged search monopoly to make exclusive deals in new emerging markets, including artificial intelligence.

The case is considered one of the biggest challenges to power in the technology industry since the Justice Department sued Microsoft in 1998 over its dominance of the personal computer market. The court ruled that Microsoft illegally tried to block the rival browser Netscape Navigator. Microsoft later reached a settlement that left the company intact.

The trial against Google in District of Columbia Court is expected to last about 10 weeks. The judge is not expected to hand down a decision until 2024.


US District Judge Amit Mehta was appointed to the bench in 2014 by former President Barack Obama after a career as a private attorney in Washington.

He has handled several major antitrust litigation cases. In 2015, Mehta blocked Sysco Corp’s $3.5 billion merger with US Foods.

Mehta recently presided over the trial of Peter Navarro, the former adviser to Donald Trump who was convicted on September 7 of contempt of Congress. In May, Mehta sentenced Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison for his role in the January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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