Google, DOJ make closing arguments in antitrust trial

Google and the Department of Justice are presenting their closing arguments today and tomorrow in the government’s landmark antitrust case against the company that owns a global search monopoly.

Rewind. The 10-week, high-stakes legal battle probed the business practices of Googe Search last fall. 

Catch up on all the issues at play in U.S. vs. Google antitrust trial: Everything you need to know.

Why we care: The outcome of this case could forever change how Google operates, which would have downstream impacts on search marketers. The ruling could lead to a leveling of the advertising market, meaning lower costs and more choice.

What to watch: The DOJ will summarise its significant allegations against Google on Thursday and Friday. Allegations come down to these three main points:

Google used lucrative deals with partners like Apple to cement itself as the default search engine across devices and platforms.

Google paid billions annually to secure those default positions – $26 billion in 2021 alone. (This includes $20 billion alone to be the default on Apple’s Safari browser, according to newly unsealed court records.)

Google failing to justify why it pays so much beyond stifling competition

The other side: Google rejected accusations of anticompetitive conduct, asserting that users prefer its best-in-class search engine and that its dominance is not due to any alleged monopolistic tactics.

“We are working very, very hard; for any given query we provide the best experience,” CEO Sundar Pichai testified. “That’s always been our true north.”

Bottom line: This landmark case carries existential implications for Google’s core search business if the DOJ prevails. 

What’s next: After closing arguments, Judge Amit Mehta will weigh the liability case before him. One potential (though unlikely) outcome could be a breakup of Google, which will be determined later if he rules against the company.