Google pays $10bn a year to dominate search – US govt
By Tony Emele
The United States government has accused Google of paying out $10 billion a year to Apple and other firms in order to safeguard its monopoly over online search.
Tuesday’s accusation came on the opening day of a landmark trial that is the biggest antitrust case in the United States in more than two decades.
As the United States government began making its case against the tech titan, Justice Department lawyer Kenneth Dintzer said “This case is about the future of the internet and whether Google will ever face meaningful competition in search.”
Over 10 weeks and with dozens of witnesses called to the bar, Google will try to persuade Judge Amit P. Mehta that the case brought by the Department of Justice is without merit.
Google’s lawyer, John Schmidtlein, argued before the court that “Google has for decades innovated and improved its search engine, plaintiffs escape this inescapable truth.”
Held in a Washington courtroom, the trial is the first time US prosecutors have tackled a big tech company head-on since Microsoft was targeted more than two decades ago over the dominance of its Windows operating system.
“Even for Washington DC, I think we have the highest concentration of blue suits in any location here today,” Mehta joked, observing the dozens of lawyers packed into his courtroom.
The Google case centers on the government’s contention that the tech titan unfairly gained its domination of online search by forging exclusivity contracts with device makers, mobile operators and other companies that left rivals no chance to compete.
Dintzer told Judge Mehta that Google pays out $10 billion every year to Apple and others to secure its search engine default status on phones and web browsers, thereby burying upstarts before they have a chance to grow.