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Google vs. U.S. Government: A Battle Over Monopoly

The U.S. Justice Department begins its legal showdown against tech giant Google, accusing the company of exploiting its monopolistic power to dominate the search engine landscape. This marks the most significant monopoly case in the internet era, reminiscent of the government's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in 1998.

The crux of the case is the government's assertion that Google strategically arranges its business to be the default search engine on many devices, suppressing competition. The case, which was introduced in October 2020, is now proceeding to trial after extensive evidence collection and over 150 depositions.

The government views this lawsuit as a way to question the unchecked power of tech companies that profoundly influence daily life. An outcome against Google could reshape the tech industry and redefine internet operations.

Google, valued at $1.7 trillion and controlling 90% of the U.S. search market, vehemently defends its position. The company attributes its dominance to the superiority of its product, emphasizing that users can easily switch to alternative search engines. Kent Walker, a senior legal representative for Google, stated, "People don't use Google because they have to — they use it because they want to."

This monumental case highlights Google's vast expenditures on exclusive deals with companies like Apple, Samsung, and web browsers such as Mozilla, ensuring its role as the default search engine. The Justice Department argues this has stymied potential competitors, like DuckDuckGo, which focuses on user privacy.

Following the Justice Department's 2020 suit, 35 states, alongside Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, lodged a comparable complaint against Google. This will be concurrently addressed in the upcoming trial.

The trial will see a dive into Google's evolution from a Silicon Valley startup to its current omnipotent stature. Although the full witness list remains undisclosed, top tech executives, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple's Eddie Cue, are anticipated to testify.

Judge Amit Mehta will oversee this bench trial, expected to last three months. The repercussions of a ruling in favor of the Justice Department remain uncertain, ranging from financial penalties to potential company restructuring, which could transform the digital landscape.

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Posted: 2023-09-13
By: dwirch
Viewed: 94 times




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