Antitrust Trial Against Google Begins

( – The landmark antitrust trial with the US government against Google commenced in a Washington DC court on Tuesday, September 12.

The proceeds initiated by the US government assert its claims that the tech giant unlawfully abused its power to monopolize internet search. This case represents the most significant test of antitrust law in decades and marks the first such case against Google to proceed to trial in the US.

The trial, expected to last for ten weeks, will see the government presenting its argument that Google exploited its market dominance and financial resources to strangle competition. The government alleges that Google spent substantial sums on agreements with firms like Apple and Samsung to establish itself as the default search engine on their devices, effectively sidelining competitors and establishing a monopoly in internet searches.

Google denies these allegations made by the Justice Department. Kent Walker, Google’s chief legal officer, contends that consumers retain the freedom to use alternative search engines and emphasizes that Google’s services constitute only a fraction of the ways people navigate the internet.

The Justice Department initially filed its lawsuit in 2020 and later joined another lawsuit against Google, filed by attorneys general from over three dozen states and territories. The states’ case will also be presented during the trial, with antitrust lawyer William Cavanaugh leading the lawsuit. During opening statements, Cavanaugh argued that Google withheld portions of its services to disadvantage competitors.

The Justice Department’s initial witness in the trial was Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist. Varian’s testimony included email exchanges and internal memos from the 2000s, where he discussed the threat posed by Microsoft and the significance of search defaults in outmaneuvering competitors.

Google’s lead attorney, John Schmidtlein, sought to downplay the importance of default search engines and argued that there are numerous ways people access the internet. He also contended that Microsoft’s Bing search engine’s unpopularity stemmed from various factors, rather than Google’s deals with companies like Apple.

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