Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL Google pays billions of dollars each year for Apple Inc. AAPL Samsung Electronics Co. (OTC:SSNLF), and other telecom giants to illegally dominate as the default search engine, according to the US Department of Justice, Wall Street Journal reports.
Google has spent “tremendous amounts” as the default search engine on most browsers and all US mobile phones, DOJ attorney Kenneth Dintzer told Judge Amit Mehta during a hearing in Washington.
State attorneys general have pursued a parallel antitrust suit against the search giant, pending before Mehta.
Read also : EU and UK launch antitrust probes into Google and Meta
Google expressed competition from dozens of other companies beyond Microsoft Corp. MSFT Bing and DuckDuckGo. Its rivals also included ByteDance Ltd’s TikTok, Meta Platforms Inc META, Amazon.com Inc. AMZNGrubhub Inc and other sites.
All parties agreed that new data about users’ search queries is the key to a search engine’s success. Google controls the most popular browser, Chrome, and the second most popular mobile operating system, Android.
Dintzer focused on the mechanics of Google’s search engine and how its default contracts hampered potential rivals.
On mobile, Google signs contracts with Apple, smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSImost browsers and all three US carriers AT&T Inc. J, Verizon Communications Inc. VZand T-Mobile US, Inc. TMUS to ensure that its search engine is set as default and comes pre-installed on new phones.
Google’s contracts make it the “gateway” through which most people find websites on the Internet, preventing rivals from gaining traction to challenge its search engine, Dintzer said.
Price Action: GOOG shares traded up 1.21% at $110.74 pre-market when last checked on Friday.
Photo by Firmbee via Pixabay