The Department of Justice is laying out its case against Google, claiming the company pays “billions” to maintain its search dominance.
The DOJ sued Google in late 2020, accusing the search giant of illegally using its dominant position to stifle competition in the search market. According to Bloomberg, the DOJ appears to be focusing on the deals Google has with other companies to be the default search engine on other products and services.
“Google invests billions in defaults, knowing people won’t change them,” DOJ attorney Kenneth Dintzer Judge Amit Mehta. “They are buying default exclusivity because defaults matter a lot.”
Google seems to be taking a unique approach to its defense, arguing that its search dominance shouldn’t be considered in the context of search alone. Instead, it should be considered in the context of search, social media, and other online platforms.
“You don’t have to go to Google to shop on Amazon. You don’t have to go to Google to buy plane tickets on Expedia,” said Google attorney John Schmidtlein. “The fact that Google doesn’t face the same competition on every query doesn’t mean the company doesn’t face tough competition.”
It is far too early to have any indication which argument will have more merit or win the day. Nonetheless, the stakes involved in this care are incredibly high for Google, as well as the rest of the tech industry.