September 8, 2023
The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Case Against Google Search
On September 12, the first and highly anticipated antitrust case against Google’s search market dominance will begin. In a new insight, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jeffrey Westling outlines the arguments both the plaintiffs and Google will make and assesses their strengths and weaknesses.
- The Department of Justice and a bipartisan group of attorneys general from 38 states and territories will argue that Google violated federal antitrust law by illegally monopolizing search and search advertising markets.
- To win at trial, the plaintiffs will need to show both that Google has monopoly power in a relevant market and engaged in anticompetitive, exclusionary conduct to either gain or maintain that monopoly power.
- While Google certainly enjoys a successful search business and has entered into agreements with browsers and mobile-device manufacturers to promote its own search engine, fierce competition from rival search engines and the significant procompetitive justifications for those agreements may counter the plaintiffs’ case.