In what’s being called the most important antitrust case since Microsoft faced federal scrutiny in 1998, Google is being sued on accusations that it wielded monopoly power over rivals in the Internet search business.
The case, brought by the federal government and joined by 38 states, got underway in Washington this week. If the government wins, Google could face restrictions on how it negotiates with computer and phone makers, and could even be forced to split apart.
Tech expert Omar Gallaga has been following the trial. He says the government is making the case that Google deals with computer and phone makers to give preferential treatment to its search engine have created a monopolistic environment.
Highlights from this segment:
– Google pays Apple $10 billion per year to be the default search engine on the iPhone. The government says that arrangement shuts out other search companies. Google counters that iPhone owners can choose to use a different search engine if they wish.
– Platforms like Facebook, and even TikTok, also compete with Google, the company says, as more and more people search social media content and hashtags.
– Other lawsuits by federal and state governments address Google’s dominant advertising business, as well as how it deals with placement of apps on the Android App Store, which it owns.