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Business News/ Companies / News/  Google argues against US accusation of breaking antitrust law, says ‘quality kept its search on top’
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Google argues against US accusation of breaking antitrust law, says ‘quality kept its search on top’

Google said the US was wrong to say the search and advertising giant broke the law to hold onto its massive market share, noting its search engine was wildly popular because of its quality

Google begins a marathon battle in a federal court on September 12, 2023 to fight accusations from the US government that it acted unlawfully to become the world's preeminent search engine. (AFP)Premium
Google begins a marathon battle in a federal court on September 12, 2023 to fight accusations from the US government that it acted unlawfully to become the world's preeminent search engine. (AFP)

Google has argued against the US accusation of breaking antitrust law by defending its wider range of popularity. The Justice Department has accused Alphabet's Google of paying $10 billion 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 around 90%. However, Google said the US was wrong to say the search and advertising giant broke the law to hold onto its massive market share, noting its search engine was wildly popular because of its quality and that dissatisfied users could switch with "a few easy clicks."

Also read: Google Antitrust Trial: Google pays $10 billion every year to maintain monopoly, says US

Google's lawyer, John Schmidtlein said, "Users today have more search options and more ways to access information online than ever before," and added that Google won competitions that Apple and Mozilla held to pick the best search engines.

The Justice Department's Kenneth Dintzer argued Google manipulated auctions for ads placed on the internet in order to raise prices for advertisers.

"Defaults are powerful, scale matters and Google illegally maintained a monopoly for more than a decade," said Dintzer. The consequences are that without serious competition, Google innovated less and paid less attention to other concerns like privacy.

Dintzer also said the department found evidence that Google had taken steps to protect communications about the payments it made to companies like Apple. "They knew these agreements crossed antitrust lines," he said.

He showed a chat where Google CEO Sundar Pichai asked for the history function to be turned off.

The legal fight has huge implications for Big Tech, which has been accused of buying or strangling small competitors but has insulated itself against many accusations of breaking antitrust law because the services the companies provide to users are free, as in the case of Google, or inexpensive, as in the case of Amazon.com.

Previous major antitrust trials include Microsoft, filed in 1998, and AT&T, filed in 1974. The AT&T breakup in 1982 is credited with paving the way for the modern cell phone industry, while the fight with Microsoft is credited with opening space for Google and others on the internet.

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Published: 13 Sep 2023, 06:45 AM IST
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