We’re nearly two months into the Justice Department’s landmark antitrust case against Google—one of the most significant battles in tech antitrust since the U.S. took Microsoft to trial in the 1990s—and the revelations keep unfolding.
Further insights from the US vs. Google trial
In our latest update, we discovered how Google spent $26.3 billion in 2021 to establish itself as the default search engine across platforms and attempted to have Chrome preinstalled on iPhones. In the past couple of weeks, more details about the inner workings of Google have surfaced, including insights into some of the search engine’s most lucrative queries, the nature of revenue-sharing agreements between Google and Android OEMs, and why Expedia has grievances with Google.
The significance of the Google vs. U.S. Antitrust case
The government contends that Google, through its platforms and partnerships, prevents competition in search or advertising, impeding competitors’ access to the necessary data for product enhancement.
If Judge Amit Mehta rules against Google, the search giant might need to alter its behavior and provide its APIs to third-party developers. Additionally, it could face restrictions on making anticompetitive and exclusive deals with smartphone and computer manufacturers, as well as wireless carriers.
Google may be required to share a significant portion, if not all, of its collected data with other search engines for product enhancement and user attraction. The DOJ highlights that Google obtains 16 times more data daily compared to Bing.
Enforcers aim to demonstrate the ongoing relevance of antitrust law, emphasizing that despite Google’s dominance on the Internet, it remains subject to U.S. law.
The outcome of the Google case could also impact other Big Tech cases. In September, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging the use of anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegitimately sustain its monopoly power. Apple has been under DOJ investigation for years regarding its policy for third-party apps on its devices and potential unfair favoritism toward its own products. Additionally, an ongoing case involves the FTC challenging Facebook to divest Instagram and WhatsApp.
Google is currently facing multiple antitrust cases. Last week, the search engine giant reached a settlement in a distinct antitrust lawsuit with dating site Match Group. On November 6, Google entered a trial with Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite. Epic Games aims to demonstrate that Google participates in anticompetitive practices concerning its Android app store, Google Play, and its commission structure.
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