In a pivotal development in the high-stakes battle between Google and regulatory authorities, a U.S. judge has upheld crucial allegations against the tech giant, marking a step forward in the Justice Department’s lawsuit. Google’s antitrust lawsuit, which was filed in 2020, alleges that Google has been illicitly maintaining monopolies within the palatinate of internet search, resorting to its colossal market influence to stifle competition.

Google search’s antitrust lawsuit has cast a massive challenge to the dominion of the tech industry echoing the historic lawsuit against Microsoft in 1998. The monopoly case against Google coincides with the ongoing trend of global regulatory scrutiny aimed at reigning in the influence of digital giants.

US Google Antitrust Lawsuit: Google’s Requests Denied On Several Fronts

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, presiding over the case, revealed his decision in a public statement released in Washington on Friday. 

Google had sought summary judgment on all counts presented by the government, an attempt to swiftly quash the allegations. While Judge Mehta granted some relief to Google on specific grounds, he has given the green light for the remaining vital claims, setting the stage for a trial slated for next month. 

The monopoly case against Google, which could potentially reshape the landscape of Big Tech’s power, accuses the tech giant of leveraging its $1.6 trillion valuation to cripple competitors.

US Google antitrust trial

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In tandem with the federal proceedings, Mehta is also overseeing a case filed by attorneys general from 38 states and territories. The decision also addressed a parallel lawsuit brought forth by the states, which alleged that Google had intentionally hindered users from accessing specialized search engines. However, Judge Mehta dismissed these accusations, asserting that the states failed to demonstrate the necessary anticompetitive impact within the relevant market.

Google responded to the ruling by expressing its gratitude for the court’s order to dismiss claims related to the design of Google Search. Kent Walker, Google’s chief legal officer, emphasized the company’s practices are lawful and promote healthy competition, mentioning their keenness to demonstrate the same in the antitrust trial.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser hailed the ruling as a step in the right direction and underlined the continued commitment to exposing what he referred to as Google’s “pattern of illegal conduct.” Mehta acknowledged Google’s prominence as the foremost U.S. internet general search engine, stressing its nearly 90% market share and annual advertising spends of over $80 billion targeted at general search users.

Google’s Resilience Against US Antitrust Trial

The case underscores the broader debate surrounding monopoly power and its implications. Judge Mehta highlighted that a company with monopoly power only transgresses when its actions suppress competition. He also emphasized that each alleged violation of antitrust law, such as Google’s approach to search advertising, must be individually demonstrated, not accepting cumulative arguments to establish wrongdoing.

The case’s timeline traces back to the previous US government administration in power. The government’s argument contends that Google illicitly paid billions annually to smartphone manufacturers, carriers, and browsers, effectively positioning itself as the default search engine for its users. This move, according to the government, unfairly stifled competition. Mehta’s refusal to dismiss this argument adds another layer of complexity to the lawsuit’s proceedings.

This decision follows a late April ruling where another U.S. judge in Virginia allowed a separate antitrust case involving Google’s advertising technology to move forward. This decision implies that the government’s antitrust trial against Google search portrays enough strength to warrant further examination.

As this battle of legal titans continues, it remains to be seen how the trial will unfold and whether Google’s alleged monopolistic practices will indeed face the scrutiny of the courts, potentially setting new precedents for the tech industry’s future.