The U.S. Justice Department says in the first substantive antitrust investigation that Google pays Apple and other smartphone makers billions of dollars each year. The tech giant will do this to maintain its dominance as the most widely used search engine.
The US Justice Department told a judge in a hearing Thursday that Google is investing billions to make its search engine the default browser on US smartphones. According to attorney Kenneth Tintzer, that happens “with the knowledge that people won’t replace them.” Bloomberg reports.
Google will sign deals with Apple and other smartphone makers like Samsung and Motorola, as well as most browsers and the three major US telecom providers: AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. For example, a tech company will promise that its search engine will be installed by default on new smartphones. Microsoft’s Bing search engine is once again the default on the company’s Edge browser and Amazon’s Fire tablets.
Agreements concluded by Google are fundamental A major antitrust case in the US judiciary. The ministry says Google wants to maintain its monopoly on search engines, in violation of antitrust laws. Thursday’s hearing is the first substantive hearing in the case, which is said to not formally begin until 2023.
John Schmittlin, a lawyer for Google, said the US Justice Department misread the market and focused too much on smaller competitors like Bing and DuckDuck Co. Google says it faces competition from dozens of other companies seeking consumer information, such as TikTok, Meta, Amazon and food delivery service Group.
“You don’t have to go to Google to shop on Amazon” or “buy plane tickets on Expedia,” says Schmittlin. “Just because Google doesn’t face the same competition for every search query doesn’t mean the company doesn’t face stiff competition,” the lawyer said. And Schmitlein finds it strange that these kinds of deals are suddenly a problem. According to him, Google has been making such deals with companies like Mozilla since the turn of the century.
“Passionate analyst. Thinker. Devoted twitter evangelist. Wannabe music specialist.”