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The DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit against Google alleges that the company has abused its dominant position in the online search market by paying billions of dollars to secure default status for its search engine on various platforms and devices. This practice, according to the DOJ, harms competition and consumers by reducing choice and innovation. Google, however, argues that its agreements with distributors are beneficial for users and that they can easily switch to other search engines if they want to.
During the ongoing federal antitrust trial against Google, a slide revealed that Google paid a whopping $26.3 billion to be the default search engine on various platforms. According to DOJ, Google pays billions of dollars each year to distributors—including popular OEMs such as Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi; major U.S. wireless carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon; and browser developers such as Mozilla, Opera, and UCWeb—to secure default status for its general search engine and. These deals also prohibit distributors from dealing with Google’s competitors.
Google’s antitrust practices have stifled innovation and diversity in the search market, preventing new entrants and alternative search engines from gaining traction and offering better services to users. The antitrust trial could also force Google to change its business model and practices, and to be more transparent and accountable to the public.