DOJ Takes On Google in Groundbreaking Monopoly Lawsuit
Beginning on 12 September, a federal judge has started hearing claims from the US Justice Department (DOJ) and a group of states that Google abused its power as a tech monopoly over online search engine services.
Google controls a 90% share of the search engine market in the US (91% globally). Its agreements with other firms including Apple, Mozilla and Samsung allow Google’s search engine to remain the default for most commonly used computers, smartphones and tablets. The government will argue that Google’s payments to these partners (which sometimes run in the billions of dollars) constitute monopolistic practice and illegally shut out competitors.
Google has denied the charges, arguing that its popularity is owed to the quality of its search engine. The company claims that customers have a choice to use other search engines, but rely on Google as the most helpful.
The case represents the first time a tech giant has been brought to trial over monopoly charges since similar accusations were brought against Microsoft more than two decades ago. The outcome of the trial will provide an indication of how successful US regulators may be in their efforts to rein in the power of large tech firms over the internet and modern infrastructure.