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The outcome of the antitrust battle will determine the future of Google Search

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A 10-week trial starts today with the DOJ taking on Google over its search engine

Something related to the tech world is supposed to take place later today. But it isn’t the event that you’re thinking about. Sure, Apple will be unveiling the iPhone 15 line later today along with the Apple Watch Series 9 and the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra. But in a Washington D.C. federal courthouse, prosecutors will be putting on a case starting Tuesday that will run for 10 weeks in an attempt to prove that Google’s search business is a monopoly.

During the 10 weeks, both sides will be testifying before U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta and we expect that Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai will appear in the witness box and court documents show that Apple executive Eddy Cue might also be called to testify. The first phase of the trial will end in November and after more documents are filed, Judge Mehta will make a ruling although this is not expected to take place until early next year.

If the judge rules against Google, another trial will be held and this will be the penalty phase where it is determined what penalties Google will be forced to comply with. As noted by the AP, Google has come a long way since Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim became Google’s first investor 25 years ago. Bechtolsheim gave Google co-founder Larry Page a $100,000 check allowing Page and Sergey Brin to start Google in a Silicon Valley garage.

Google parent Alphabet is now worth $1.7 trillion and generates $224 billion in ad revenue led by its search engine. While Google says that it is the top search engine in the world with a 90% share because it is the best search engine and beats out competitors like Bing and Duck Duck Go fair and square, the DOJ wants to bring up deals that Google has with companies like Apple. Google pays Apple a huge sum to be the default search engine on the iPhone and Safari. It also points out that Google pays Mozilla and Samsung to be the default search engine on Firefox and Galaxy devices respectively.

The DOJ accuses Google of paying out large sums of money to get a 90% share of the search market

Google doesn’t mind shelling out this kind of money because it makes more than it pays as millions of iPhone, Safari, Galaxy, and Firefox users use Google Search allowing Google to charge big bucks to advertisers to reach these consumers. Google also demands that phone manufacturers who want to use the Google Mobile Services version of Android for their handsets use Google Search as their default search engine. All the data that Google collects from its search engine allows it to prevent Bing and Duck Duck Go from obtaining information that could improve their search results.

Google says that consumers can easily switch their default search engine to another search provider. It also says that it faces competition from Bing’s use of AI although Google has started to add AI-based results to its search results as well. Google also says that it has never stopped looking to improve its search capabilities which the company says explains why “Google it” has become such an iconic phrase and the company has become synonymous with search.

In 2019 Google was fined billions of dollars by the EC for restricting Android users to selecting Google as their default search engine and Chrome as their default browser. To comply with the EU, Google showed two screens to Android users the first time they opened the Google Play Store app following an update that was about to be disseminated. The screens allowed these Android users to choose a default search engine and default browser from a list that included four Google Search competitors and four Google Chrome competitors.

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