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United States v. Google_ A Battle Over Monopolies.pdf (69.34 kB)

United States v. Google: A Battle Over Monopolies

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posted on 2023-11-20, 19:57 authored by Gabby Ramasci

The United States has been battling monopolies for quite some. The first antitrust law passed is the Sherman Act of 1980, which details “every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize...shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor”. [1] Many companies find loopholes towards trusts and monopolies, but the government is finally taking a stand against one of the world’s most prominent companies.

The Department of Justice originally filed a case in October of 2020 against Google for its “grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small business, and entrepreneurs beholden to unlawful monopolists”. [2] On September 17, the trial that has been looming for almost 3 years now officially began. It is one of the first major cases regarding monopoly law that has taken place since the development of the internet and its newfound place in society.

The direct issues at hand regarding Google regard its business dealings, which have it set so that Google is the search engine that will pop up first when a web browser is open. These agreements are in relation to phone companies like Apple and Samsung that set Google as the default for their phones. This, the government claims, is a monopoly over the internet. Data shows that Google’s market share is over 90% of the market, and this is what the government is challenging. [3]

Despite the government’s case, Google is working hard on their defense. Their reasoning for why Google is so prominent is due to the fact that it is superior, and people are choosing to use Google over their competitors, something that is out of their control. Additionally, Google has amassed a strong defense team that has delivered in the past. Their top attorney, Kent Walker, was successful in a similar case in 2013 that led to a settlement that certainly favored Google. [4] The outcome that Google fears facing is a decrease in users, which ultimately threatens a decrease in profits as well. The end goal is to convince the predominant presence of Google is due to its superiority as a search engine and not due to illegal trust practices.

This case will be ruled by Judge Amit P. Mehta of the US District Court in the District of Columbia. Judge Mehta has a background working for the DC-based law firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP from 1999-2002, and later coming back in 2007. In this practice, he focused on white-collar criminal defense, complex business disputes, and appellate advocacy. [5] He was appointed in 2014 following a nomination from President Barack Obama. This is his first case centering technology, and his appointment to this case was random. However, Judge Metha has already struck down parts of the lawsuit in favor of Google, stating that the allegations against Google “relies not on evidence, but almost entirely on the opinion and speculation of its expert. There is no record evidence of anticompetitive harm”. [6] However, the case is still ongoing, and one setback for the government does not mean a done deal.



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