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Google on the defensive in an antitrust lawsuit

On the second day of a monumental antitrust trial, the Justice Department delved into Google’s dealings that secured its status as the dominant search engine on mobile devices. Former Google executive Chris Barton provided insight into the tech giant’s aggressive strategies between 2004 and 2011.

Recognizing the potential of search on evolving mobile platforms, Google quickly expanded its partnerships with mobile carriers. The US government’s claim is that this domain has allowed Google, valued at $1 trillion, to establish monopolies in certain sectors of online search advertising, a major revenue stream since its search service is free .

The Alphabet-owned company allegedly shelled out $10 billion a year to major entities like AT&T, Apple and Mozilla, securing its nearly 90% market share and driving away competitors. Barton elucidated Google’s tactics in revenue-sharing deals, emphasizing the exclusivity and default status of its search engine. This dominance meant that users would have trouble discovering or switching to other options, such as Microsoft’s Bing.

Barton’s LinkedIn highlights his instrumental role in building partnerships with major carriers like Verizon and AT&T, contributing to substantial revenue. Google’s defense, articulated by attorney John Schmidtlein, revolves around the inherent quality of its search engine and justifiable compensation to partners.

This demand has immense implications for the wider tech industry, which often faces criticism for undermining competition. Google’s defense is based on the premise of offering free or reasonably priced services, echoing the sentiments of other tech giants such as Amazon.

Drawing parallels with past antitrust cases like Microsoft in 1998 and AT&T in 1974, experts are watching the potential outcomes carefully. Google’s fate now rests with Judge Amit Mehta, who could order changes in practices or even suggest asset sales if violations are found.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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