The story so far: On September 12, Justice Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia started hearing what is being described as the most important case about the future of the Internet. Over the course of the next 10 weeks, Justice Mehta will hear arguments of the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and several U.S. States to the effect that Google used illegal tactics to maintain a monopoly in online search. Several top officials from Google, including CEO Sundar Pichai, are expected to be called in as witnesses. If the allegations against the $1.7 trillion Silicon Valley giant are upheld, Justice Mehta will begin a separate trial to decide on the action that needs to be taken. Other mega Internet companies such as Amazon and Meta are keenly watching the trial, as it will have major implications on how their own ‘anti-trust’ issues are dealt with.
The key allegation against Google is that its “arrangements” with Apple and other companies to be the default search engine on their devices, is unlawful monopoly building. The DoJ filed the charges on October 20, 2020, arguing that Google throttled competition from other search engines and caused harm to consumers, making it a prime anti-trust — targeting monopolies — case. “Two decades ago, Google became the darling of Silicon Valley as a scrappy start-up with an innovative way to search the emerging internet. That Google is long gone,” the DoJ had said in its initial filing.
Source : The Hindu