Monday, September 25, 2023

What the Landmark U.S. v. Google Antitrust Suit Means for Search ... - Public Knowledge

Last updated Sunday, September 3, 2023 06:02 ET , Source: NewsService

In just a few weeks, an incredibly important antitrust trial determining the market structure of how we find information on the web will begin. More than 10 years ago, competitors and potential competitors to Google Search complained that Google was using its power in the search market to block any other company from being able to compete fairly against Google. Finally, in 2020, the Department of Justice agreed, filing a lawsuit against Google for antitrust violations, specifically monopoly maintenance in violation of the Sherman Act. This suit is part of a broader awakening of the antitrust community to the special economics of platform markets and the competition problems that we face there.

The suit against Google — scheduled for trial at the D.C. District Court on September 12 — focuses on the company’s search engine. According to the DOJ, Google used a series of exclusive agreements and leveraged its position in the related markets of mobile phone operating systems and web browsers to build and maintain a monopoly in search and search advertising. The dominance of Google Search can be measured as a market share: Google has 88% of the search market according to the Department of Justice suit. But it’s also helpful to think about the dominance of the Google search engine intuitively from a user experience perspective. For less sophisticated users, Google is the internet. Many people don’t know that they are accessing the internet through a browser; they are just...

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