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The Google antitrust trial is just getting started

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2023-09-18 22:00:11

Welcome to Big Tech on Trial, a newsletter covering the Google antitrust trial. If you’d like to sign up to receive issues over email, you can do so here.

“Your Honor, this case is about the future of the internet and whether Google’s search engine will ever face meaningful competition.”

That was part of the opening statement by DOJ lawyer Kenneth Dintzer for the biggest monopolization trial in 25 years — the government’s case against Google, the search giant that has become its own verb. And the importance of the trial was clear on Tuesday. The courtroom was packed, and included DOJ antitrust head Jonathan Kanter and Google’s chief legal officer Kent Walker, as well as Congressman Ken Buck of Colorado, the former chief Republican on the House Antitrust Subcommittee.

By the time court broke for lunch, as I wrote after Day One, we had heard the lead lawyers for each party lay out their cases. 1 The basic question underpinning the trial is why is Google search so popular? Is it because everyone loves it? Or because it engages in unlawful behavior to exclude rivals? Both sides explained their economic theories and previewed the testimony Judge Amit Mehta would hear, but they also delivered sharp punches.

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