WinBuzzer News Google Faces Antitrust Allegations in Landmark Trial The US government's upcoming trial will scrutinize Google's "exclusive dealing arrangements" with large tech companies. By Luke Jones - September 11, 2023 3:59 pm CEST FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsApp Starting September 12, Google, the leading global search engine, will be defending its position against allegations of monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) initiated a civil antitrust lawsuit against Google in October 2020, accusing the tech giant of monopolizing search and search advertising. This was followed by a separate complaint from the attorneys general of 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. These cases have now been merged into one. The trial is set to scrutinize Google's “exclusive dealing arrangements” with companies like Apple and Samsung and its practice of pre-installing its services on Android devices. The Core of the Allegations The U.S. government claims that Google has unlawfully established its dominance in online search by entering exclusive contracts with device manufacturers, mobile operators, and other entities, leaving little room for competitors. These contracts allegedly made Google Search the default or exclusive option on numerous devices, potentially harming competitors like Microsoft Bing and DuckDuckGo. The government's complaint suggests that Google's deals with device makers and its Android operating system's requirements for smartphone companies to pre-install other Google-owned apps are anticompetitive. Google's Defense Google argues that its dominance is not a result of any illegal activities but rather the superior quality of its search engine and the preferences of consumers. Kent Walker, Google's president of global affairs, emphasized,“People don't use Google because they have to — they use it because they want to. It's easy to switch your default search engine — we're long past the era of dial-up internet and CD-ROMs.” This trial is significant as it's the first major antitrust case against a tech company in over two decades. If the allegations are upheld, Google could face substantial remedial actions, potentially including a breakup of its business or a mandate to overhaul its operations. Regardless of the outcome, this case is a testament to the increasing scrutiny tech giants are facing regarding their market practices. Of course, Google has found itself in trouble with the DoJ in the US and the European Commission in Europe multiple times. Earlier this year, the DoJ accused the company of destroying evidence by deleting chats between employees. Last November, Google agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to 40 states in the biggest anti-trust settlement in U.S. law.