Google Trial Case Arguments End As Alleged Monopoly is Under Scrutiny

Closing arguments in the case between Google and the U.S. Justice Department concluded on Friday, centering on allegations that Google’s Alphabet unit has unlawfully monopolized web search and advertising, with implications for the “future of the internet.”

During the proceedings, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington extensively questioned both sides, particularly examining whether competitive platforms like ByteDance’s TikTok and Meta’s Facebook and Instagram could serve as substitutes for search advertising revenue.

Judge Mehta emphasized the significance of determining whether these platforms are viable alternatives for advertisers, a key issue the court must address.

He will now commence deliberations to determine whether Google’s conduct violated civil antitrust laws. While no timeline for the ruling was provided, experts anticipate potential changes to Google’s business practices.

Google Company

Furthermore, Judge Mehta probed whether Google considers competitors’ pricing when making its adjustments. Google’s advertising division contributes to approximately three-quarters of its revenue.

According to U.S. government lawyer David Dahlquist, “advertising revenue is what drives Google’s monopoly power today.” He argued that Google, as a monopolist, can diminish product quality and still increase profits, citing a lack of market pressure.

In defense, Google’s lawyer John Schmidtlein countered that Google’s share of U.S. digital advertising revenue has declined steadily.

He highlighted the advertising strength of rival platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon, asserting that advertisers have options beyond Google.

Schmidtlein emphasized Google’s ongoing efforts to innovate its search advertising products, challenging the notion that monopolists have no incentive to enhance their offerings. He contended that Google’s success stems from delivering a superior product.

The Justice Department has persistently pursued Google in this trial, accusing the tech giant of monopolistic practices that enhance its profits unlawfully.

Alphabet is the Parent Company of Google.

Witnesses from Verizon, Samsung Electronics, and Google itself testified about the company’s substantial payments to secure its search as the default option on smartphones and browsers.

Judge Mehta also addressed the government’s allegation that Google deliberately destroyed internal documents pertinent to the lawsuit, questioning the company’s document retention policies.

The case, initiated during former President Donald Trump’s administration, represents one of several legal challenges aimed at curbing the market dominance of tech giants.

Another case, targeting Meta, and subsequent actions against and Apple Inc., followed suit under President Joe Biden’s antitrust enforcement.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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