Being the subject of several antitrust lawsuits across the Atlantic, Google counterattacks. In a request addressed to judge Amit Mehta, in charge of these cases, the Mountain View firm asks him to dismiss two complaints against him and affirms that they are not valid.
Google defends its contracts with other tech giants
The first and largest lawsuit is the one filed by the Department of Justice and 11 states against Google in late 2020. It specifically targets the company’s search engine and the huge monopoly it exercises through supposedly anti-competitive practices. According to the complainants, the company has spent several billion dollars with other tech giants to be the preferred search engine on browsers and electronic devicesunfairly preventing its competitors from prospering.
In its document, consulted by The Verge and which constitutes an outline of the arguments which could be advanced during the trial if the lawsuits are not dismissed, the company assures that the complaint misrepresents its agreements with browser developers and Android smartphone manufacturers : “ To require Google not to engage in vigorous competition – or to require browser developers to redesign their products and provide a worse experience for their customers – would be tantamount to subverting the law of the competition “, she explains.
She further asserts that its agreements with Mozilla and Apple to integrate Search into their respective browsers in no way prevent users from using alternatives. It also attests that if browsers choose Google Search, this is simply a result of it outperforming its rivals. ” There is no evidence to suggest that Google coerced Apple, Mozilla, or any other browser developer into adopting a design that included a single default search engine says the company.
A trial possible as early as September
The second complaint that Google hopes to overturn with Judge Mehta also dates from the end of 2020. Filed by several states led by Colorado, it also alleges that the company signs exclusive contracts to establish its dominant position and prevent users from going to its rivalsas well as to force professionals to use its advertising tools. The Mountain View firm would have used the same tactics with connected object brands of all kinds that use Google Search technology. The company denies these accusations, and assures that they are baseless.
If all goes as planned, the trial between the web giant and the Department of Justice should take place in September. Its implications are colossal for Google, since it could lead to the dismantling of part of its activities. Other lawsuits, targeting its advertising activities, are also underway in the United States.
Google’s practices have already been sanctioned in Europe. The Competition Authority of the Old Continent fined it 4 billion euros for forcing manufacturers of smartphones running Android to use Google Search.