In a digital world, privacy is the most valuable treasure that is always at stake while we surf our way to the internet. Google, being the biggest internet player in the world, grabbing a 90 percent market share in search engines in the US in recent years, is set to square off with the U.S. government.
The United States Department of Justice and a coalition of state attorneys general have accused Google of unlawfully abusing its dominance in the search engine market to maintain its monopoly power.
The company faces a threat to its dominant search engine beginning Tuesday when federal regulators from the U.S. government launch an attempt to dismantle its internet empire in the biggest U.S. antitrust trial in the century.
Google has been accused of antitrust violations in its massive search business, with a long-anticipated legal showdown that could reshape one of the internet’s most dominant websites. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Google illegally pays billions of dollars to Apple, Samsung, LG, and many other companies to make Google the default search engine on smartphones and computers. The activity has reportedly been shutting out rivals like Microsoft Bing and DuckDuckGo.
The Attorney General of the United States claims internet giant company Google uses their dominance to charge advertisers higher prices and “favors advertising on its own platform and steers advertiser spending towards itself.”
It has been accused that the company unfairly forged its domination of online search by paying billions of dollars to Apple and other companies to ensure its search engine would be the default on most phones and web browsers.
Back in 2020, the government’s lawsuit alleged that these deals were intended by Google to be “exclusionary”. This would not have been in favor of the rival companies as Google wanted to make its monopoly in search queries and clicks and allow it to entrench its market dominance.
The government estimated that Google has around 90 percent market share, and its browser agreements steer billions of web queries to Google every day, which have resulted in less choice for consumers and less innovation.
The upcoming trial is said to last for around the next 10 weeks as federal lawyers and state attorneys general will try to prove Google rigged the market in its favor by locking its search engine in as the default choice in many devices.
Top executives from Google and its corporate parent Alphabet Inc., and those from other powerful technology companies are expected to testify during the trial. According to the court documents received by the sources, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who succeeded Google co-founder Larry Page four years ago, will likely be involved in the trial.
While Google’s search business provides more than half of the $283 billion in revenue, the trial will have big names. Among many, Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Apple, might be called to the stand. The trial might also feature testimony from high-profile witnesses, including former employees of Google and Samsung.
The internet company maintains its stand from the previous lawsuit and claims that it did not violate antitrust law. The browser agreements were “legitimate competition” and not “illicit exclusion,” as per Google.
The lawsuit also alleges that Google’s Android operating system deals with device makers are anti-competitive, as they require smartphone companies to pre-install other Google-owned apps, such as Gmail, Chrome, or Maps.
However, the agreements by the company do not prevent rivals from developing their own search engines or stop companies such as Apple and Mozilla from promoting them, Google argues in the allegation.
The makers of smartphones set Google search as their default because they wanted to deliver the “highest quality” experience for their customers, Google previously claimed in its January filing.
It would be interesting to see how the trial would turn out to be. However, it would be even more interesting to see whether the company will be able to retain its dominance or not.
Do you think Google was involved in the unfair practice to maintain its monopoly? Let us know in the comments.