The largest US competition operation in more than 20 years began yesterday. Lawsuits filed by the US government and dozens of states against Google are being negotiated. It is about accusing the company of unfairly hindering competitors. Google denies these accusations. The last time Windows giant Microsoft was in court in this corporate league was in the late 1990s for a competition lawsuit.
Among other things, the claim that Google’s agreements with browser developers such as Apple (Safari) and Mozilla (Firefox) harm competition will be negotiated. In its lawsuit, the Justice Department attacks the practice of setting Google as the default search engine. Mozilla and Apple receive money from Google for this.
Kenneth Dentzer argued in the courtroom on behalf of the judiciary that Google “created a wall around its search engine monopoly” with this practice. Google lawyer John Schmidtlin responded that it is easy to change the default search engine in browsers. However, users came to Google because they were satisfied with the quality of the search results. This also occurs on Windows computers that have Microsoft Bing previously set as the default.
Google will have to face fewer allegations in this process than stated in the original lawsuits. Justice Amit Mehta, among other things, struck out the accusation that the company had harmed niche service providers like Expedia or OpenTable through its conduct.
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