The largest antitrust action since the turn-of-the-century Microsoft case is headed to trial today, as the federal government and a group of state attorneys general challenge Google’s dominance in search.
Google is specifically accused of creating a monopoly through the use of exclusivity contracts with device manufacturers and software providers — deals, in short, that make Google the default search engine for a given device or platform. The overall effect of those numerous deals, according to the government’s complaint, has been to artificially deny access to the search engine market to rivals, creating an effective monopoly.
The complaint, which was filed in October 2020 in the federal district court in Washington, D.C., further alleged that the exclusive contracts were used not just to broaden the use of its products, but to explicitly exclude competitors from chipping away at Google’s dominant market share in search.
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