Accusations of Illegal Payments to Smartphone Makers and Carriers
The government has accused Alphabet's Google of acting unlawfully by paying billions of dollars each year to companies such as Apple, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Verizon, and Mozilla to be the default search engine for their customers.
Judge Mehta Questions Google's Lawyer
Judge Amit Mehta actively questioned Google's lawyer, John Schmidtlein, pressing him on the implications of search dominance and whether the deals were "anti-competitive" and provided an unfair advantage.
Google's Defense of Superior Product and Legal Revenue-Sharing
Schmidtlein countered that offering a superior product and winning business on merit is not unlawful, asserting that no consumer harm is involved. Google has maintained in court filings that the payments in question are legal revenue-sharing deals rather than illegal efforts to exclude rivals.
Upcoming Decision and Trial Timeline
Judge Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will make the summary judgment decision, with the case set for trial in September.
Google Facing Multiple Antitrust Lawsuits
Google's motion to dismiss is the latest move to address numerous time-consuming and costly lawsuits from state and federal governments attempting to curb its market power. These lawsuits include two filed by the Justice Department and two more filed by groups of states, all accusing Google of antitrust law violations in various aspects of its business.