Unhappy consumers, Google claimed, only needed “a few easy clicks” to replace the Google app on their devices.
Google argued on Tuesday that the US was wrong to say the search and advertising giant broke the law to maintain its massive market share, noting that its search engine was widely popular because of its quality and that disgruntled users could switch to ” a few easy clicks”. The Justice Department accused Alphabet’s Google of paying $10 billion (roughly Rs 82,900 crore) annually to device makers like Apple, wireless companies like AT&T and browser makers like Mozilla to keep its search engine’s market share at about 90 percent.
Google’s search engine is a key part of its business, driving ad sales and other areas of profit for the world’s fourth most valuable company. “This case is about the future of the Internet,” Kenneth Dintzer said, arguing for the Justice Department that Google began illegally maintaining its monopoly in 2010. But Google lawyer John Schmidtlein said the payments compensate partners for working to ensure the software receives timely security updates and other maintenance.
“Users today have more search options and ways to access information online than ever before,” Schmidtlein continued. He went on to say that Google won competitions that Apple and Mozilla held to select the best search engines. Unhappy consumers, Google’s Schmidtlein argued, need only “a few easy clicks” to replace the Google app from their devices or call Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo browsers to use an alternative search engine.
Kenneth Dintzer of the Justice Department argued earlier on Tuesday that, in addition to payments, Google manipulated auctions of ads placed on the Internet to raise prices for advertisers.
“Defaults are powerful, scale matters, and Google has illegally maintained a monopoly for more than a decade,” added Dintzer. The results are that Google has developed less and given other issues, including privacy, less attention in the absence of significant competition, he said.
Dintzer added that the department had discovered proof that Google had taken precautions to safeguard information regarding payments it made to businesses like Apple. He claimed that “they knew these deals violated antitrust laws.” He showed a chat where Google CEO Sundar Pichai asked to turn off the history feature. William Cavanaugh, speaking for the states led by Colorado, took aim at allegations that Google was reluctant to give Microsoft access to features on the Google Marketing Platform SA360, saying it did so for financial reasons.
The government’s first witness was Google economist Hal Varian, who was asked about discussions within the company in the mid-to-early 2000s about the importance of making Google the default on home pages. In general, he stated, “I think having a default is valuable.” Opening arguments in the trial took place in front of a packed federal court in Washington. The trial is expected to last up to 10 weeks with two phases. In the first, Judge Amit Mehta will decide whether Google violated antitrust law by how it manages search and search advertising.
If Google is found to have broken the law, Judge Mehta will then decide how best to deal with it. It can choose to simply order Google to stop practices it finds illegal, or it can order Google to sell assets. In its complaint, the government asked for “structural relief as needed,” but did not define it. The legal battle has huge implications for Big Tech, which has been accused of buying up or strangling small competitors but has insulated itself from many allegations of antitrust violations because the services the companies provide to users are free, as in the case of Google or cheap, as in the case of Amazon.
Previous major antitrust lawsuits include Microsoft, filed in 1998, and AT&T, filed in 1974. The demise of AT&T in 1982 is credited with establishing the present cell phone market, while the conflict with Microsoft is said to have made room for Google and other companies on the Internet. Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 now the top foldable phone available in India? On the most recent episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we talk about the company’s brand-new foldable phone that has a clamshell design. Orbital can be found wherever podcasts are distributed, including on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music.