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Google takes advantage of its position to suppress competitors

Google used its dominant position in the internet search market to block competitors and stifle innovation, the Justice Department said at the opening of antitrust proceedings in the U.S.

“This case is about the future of the internet and whether Google’s search engine will ever face meaningful competition.”

Federal lawyers and state attorneys general will have ten weeks to prove that Google has taken over the market by making its search engine the default choice in a variety of places and devices. However, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta is unlikely to issue a ruling before early next year.

Top executives from Google and its parent company Alphabet, as well as representatives from other powerful tech companies, will testify. Sundar Pichai, Alphabet chief executive, is expected to be among them. Eddie Cue, a senior Apple executive, may also be called to testify.

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google about three years ago, accusing the company of abusing its position to gain an unfair advantage over competitors.

Government lawyers said the company spent billions of dollars annually to make its search engine the default on the iPhone and in browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Among the charges is Google’s requirement to include a search engine in the software package for Android-based smartphones, otherwise manufacturers will not have full access to the Android app store.

Google controls about 90% of the Internet search market.

The company explains its dominance by the fact that its system is constantly evolving, and people almost reflexively continue to return to it. Today, the word “Googling” has practically become synonymous with searching for information on the Internet.

Today, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is worth $1.7 trillion.

The company employs 182,000 people. The money comes from annual advertising sales worth 224 billion. It flows through a network of digital services based on a search engine that processes billions of queries a day.

The Justice Department’s antitrust case echoes the 1998 case against Microsoft. Microsoft was accused of forcing computer manufacturers to use the Windows operating system, as well as using Microsoft Internet Explorer. The company’s requirements came at a time when the Internet began to become a mass phenomenon.

Such a strategy destroyed the popular Netscape browser at that time.


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