US lawmakers are pushing Google to restructure amid monopoly concerns

The Justice Department says Google illegally undervalued its competition

Source: Pixabay


  • The US Department of Justice begins a 10-week trial against Google on Tuesday, accusing it of monopolistic practices in controlling the search engine market.
  • Google’s business partnerships, including with Apple, are under scrutiny to ensure its search engine is the default on mobile devices.
  • Google’s claims of pushing its search engine to its own mobile devices have been denied, but claims of dominance through partnerships remain.

Whether you buy a new tablet or phone, you know there will only be so much removable bloatware. In some cases, you may want to remove pre-installed software because you know you won’t be using it. However, big tech companies don’t make it easy to move away from virtual apps and services. Companies, including Amazon and Apple, are among the biggest offenders. Now the US Department of Justice is suing Google, citing monopolistic business practices.

A 10-week trial will begin Tuesday to determine whether Google is able to take control of the search engine landscape through illegal means (via The New York Times). Specifically, the DOJ wants to focus on the other companies that helped Google become what it is today — the most dominant search engine in the country, according to data analytics firm Sameweb. Her argument highlights the deals Google has struck with companies such as Apple. The complainants allege that Google entered into these partnerships to ensure that its search engine would be the default on mobile devices. A counterargument from the company is that consumers have the option to change their default settings when they purchase the device.

The Justice Department has already seen some of her claims dismissed before trial. In a memorandum drafted last month, US District Judge Amit Mehta rejected the argument that Google was pushing its search engine onto its mobile devices. Claims that the Google Assistant service was given priority on Android phones have also been denied. However, the trial will continue to move forward based on the Department of Justice’s claims that Google’s business partnerships helped it dominate the search engine market.

This is not the first time the company has been accused of monopoly. In August, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission fined the company the equivalent of US$31.5 million. Regulators claimed that Google tried to take over its competitors in the App Store space.

The Department of Justice and Google have isolated more than 150 people for trial. Several key witnesses are expected to participate, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The final outcome will be determined by the end of the year, but the impact of the experiment could last beyond 2023. Any changes Google makes as a result could change the way we turn to the search engine for some of our most pressing questions.

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