TIME.CO, Jakarta — A U.S. judge, hearing the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit v Google due to allegations of an illegitimate monopoly in the Internet search market, allowing the case brought by the federal government to proceed to trial.
Google, a unit of Alphabet (GOOGL.O), has filed a summary assessment of all the government’s claims in the case.
US Judge Amit Mehta, in a verdict announced in Washington on Friday, granted Google’s request for several reasons. However, she allowed the other charges to proceed in court next month.
The Justice Department sued Google in 2020. It accused the $1.6 trillion-dollar company of illegally using its market power to stymie competitors. Mehta has also heard cases brought against Google by attorneys general from 38 states and territories.
Mehta rejected the state’s allegations that Google was making it difficult for Internet users to find specialized search engines, such as Expedia for travel or OpenTable for restaurants. According to Mehta, the state “has not shown the anti-competitive impact required by the market”.
Google said on Friday it appreciated “the careful consideration and court decision to dismiss claims related to Google Search’s design” in a case brought by the state.
“We hope to demonstrate in court that the promotion and distribution of our services is legal and pro-competitive,” added Kent Walker, Google’s chief legal officer. Google has denied any wrongdoing in both cases.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said he was pleased with Mehta’s opinion, adding, “We will continue to evaluate how best to move forward and establish a pattern of illegal Google conduct that harms consumers and competitors.”
Mehta notes that Google LLC operates the largest general search engine on the Internet in the United States whose “brand name has become so widespread that dictionaries recognize it as a verb.” He notes that as of 2020, Google has nearly 90 percent of the market share, and advertisers spend more than $80 billion a year alone to reach general search users.
“A firm with monopoly power goes against the law when its actions impede competition,” Mehta wrote.
Mehta also said the government would have to demonstrate that any particular behavior, such as the way Google handles search ads, is a violation of antitrust laws.
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Federal government lawsuit
The government, which filed a lawsuit in the final days of the Trump administration, alleges Google illegally pays billions of dollars a year to smartphone makers like Apple, LG, Motorola and Samsung, carriers like Verizon, and browsers like Mozilla by default. find your customers. Mehta refused to ignore the topic.
In late April, a US judge in Virginia denied Google’s motion to overturn a Justice Department antitrust case centered around advertising technology. The judge said the government’s case was strong enough to proceed to trial.
Government believes Google should be forced to sell its ad manager suite. But Google has denied any wrongdoing in this case.
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