Google pays huge sums of money to Apple, Samsung and other electronics manufacturers every year to illegally maintain its title as the world’s largest search engine. This was announced to a US federal judge by a representative of the country’s Department of Justice the day before, reports Bloomberg.
Justice Department spokesman Kenneth Dintzer didn’t give exact amounts, but called the payouts Google is making to remain the default search engine on all mobile devices and most browsers in the US “huge”. “Google is investing billions in default settings knowing that people won’t change them,” Mr. Dintzer told Judge Amit Mehta during a hearing in Washington.
The contracts entered into by Google formed the basis for the US Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against the company: according to the department, the defendant seeks to maintain its de facto monopoly on online search in violation of the law. A full-scale lawsuit on the lawsuit will unfold only next year, and yesterday’s hearing was preliminary in nature: the parties outlined their positions regarding Google’s business.
Google spokesman John Schmidtlein said the plaintiffs are misjudging the market by focusing on the company’s really small competitors like Bing and DuckDuckGo, while the real rivals are TikTok, Meta*, Amazon, Grubhub and other resources people search for information on. . The parties agreed that the key to the success of the search engine is access to up-to-date data on user queries – while Google remains under the control of the world’s most popular Chrome browser and the most popular Android mobile OS.
Justice Department spokesman Dinzer, in turn, noted that Google has contracts to make its search service the default on Apple, Samsung and Motorola products; there are similar agreements with three American operators: AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. At the same time, the Microsoft Bing search engine is used by default in the Edge browser and on Amazon Fire tablets. According to Mr. Dinzer, Google’s contracts make the company the “gateway” through which most people find sites on the Internet, and they are also a deterrent for competitors who cannot develop to the scale to challenge the market leader.
* Included in the list of public associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court made a final decision to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for by Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On countering extremist activity.”
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