Google Pays Billions to Industry Giants to Maintain Top Search Engine Spot, Says US DOJ

The antitrust lawsuit against Google is expected to formally go to trial in 2023.

Google Pays Billions to Industry Giants to Maintain Top Search Engine Spot, Says US DOJ

Google has said that these contracts have been around since the 2000s

Highlights
  • Google claims that companies like Mozilla depend on such contracts
  • Thursday’s hearing was seemingly the first significant one in the case
  • DOJ says that buying exclusivity unfairly prevents rivals from growing

Google reportedly paid billions of dollars to telecom giants like Apple, Samsung, and more to "illegally" remain the default search engine on their products, according to US Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney Kenneth Dintzer, who made these arguments to Judge Amit Mehta during a hearing in Washington on Thursday. Google has been accused of "buying default exclusivity" on most browsers and all US mobile phones. This exclusivity is believed to deny rivals user data, which is the key to the success of a search engine.

According to a Bloomberg report, these Google contracts are the basis of the US DOJ's landmark antitrust lawsuit, which accuses the company of maintaining its search monopoly by violating antitrust laws.

Google has contracts with smartphone makers like Apple. Samsung, Motorola and three telecom carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, as per the report. Dintzer argued that this exclusivity prevents Google's rivals from scaling up to challenge the search engine.

As part of their defence, Google has argued that several of these contracts have been in place since the 2000s. Furthermore, they are seemingly essential for companies like Mozilla that offer their services for free.

This antitrust lawsuit is expected to formally begin next year. Thursday's hearing was the first significant one in this case, according to the report.


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Further reading: Google, DOJ, Antitrust, Search
Siddhant Chandra
Siddhant Chandra is a Senior Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. This is his first foray into the tech space, having made the switch from travel. He holds a keen interest in keeping up with the latest hardware and software developments in the gaming industry. After work, you can mostly find him playing CS:GO with his buds, where he has clocked over 3K hours. You can reach him at siddhantc@ndtv.com. More
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