Google antitrust trial is about to start: What are the stakes?
The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google, and its dominance in search engine dominance, is scheduled to start on Tuesday.
U.S. The case, U.S. This is one of many antitrust lawsuits against the company. In January, the DOJ filed an antitrust case against it concerning Google’s role as an advertising broker, publisher and auctioneer.The charges. The federal government claims that Google harms consumers by limiting innovation and choice in online search tools. This, the government alleges, allowed Google to become the dominant search engine over its rivals and stifle competition.
Federal prosecutors are likely to argue that Google is not allowing a free market of rivals who could offer search choices with better technical perks — such as the speed at which search results are presented — and on policy choices, such as more stringent data privacy practices.
The defense. Google has strongly resisted the accusations of anticompetitive conduct. The company will claim that its products and services are popular not because Google has shifted the playing field in favor of potential competitors, but because they are better. The company claims that users can set their default search engine easily and that the contracts they have do not restrict access to other options. Report: Google shares Chrome iOS search revenues with Apple
Why do we care?
A major change at Google may have a profound impact on the entire digital marketing industry. If the DOJ can prove its case, and change Google’s stranglehold on search, it could mean lower advertising costs. More tech regulation could be more difficult to achieve if Google wins. As always, time will tell.
Dig deep. US Justice Department sues Google again, aims to dismantle its ad divisionWhat’s at stake. The US and its allies do not seek a monetary fine, but an injunction that would prevent Google from engaging in the alleged anticompetitive conduct. For example:
The government said in its lawsuit that the court could break up the company as a fix. For example:
The government said in its lawsuit that the court could break up the company as a fix.
More broadly, the Justice Department may argue it wants to stop Google from leveraging its alleged search monopoly to make exclusive deals in newly emerging markets, including artificial intelligence.The case is widely seen as one of the biggest challenges to tech industry power since the DOJ sued Microsoft in 1998 over its market dominance for personal computers. In that case, the trial court found Microsoft illegally attempted to block Netscape Navigator. Microsoft reached a settlement which left the company intact.
Dig further. Judge: There is no evidence that Google hurt competitors by limiting their search visibility.