Google Pays $10 Billion a Year To Maintain Monopoly, US Says

Alphabet’s Google pays more than $10 billion a year to maintain its position as the default search engine on web browsers and mobile devices, stifling competition, the US Justice Department said on Tuesday at the start of a high-stakes antitrust trial in Washington. From a report: “This case is about the future of the Internet and whether Google’s search engine will ever face meaningful competition,” Kenneth Dinzer, the state’s attorney, said in his opening statement. “The evidence will show that they asked for exclusivity by default to block rivals.” Dinzer said Google became a monopoly at least in 2010 and today controls more than 89 percent of the online search market.

“The company is paying billions in defaults because they are uniquely powerful,” he said. “For the past 12 years, Google has abused its monopoly in general search.” The monopolization lawsuit is the first federal government action against an American technology company in more than two decades. The Justice Department and 52 attorneys general from US states and territories allege that Google illegally maintains its monopoly by paying billions to tech rivals, smartphone makers and wireless providers in exchange for being set as a pre-selected option or on default for mobile phones and web browsers.

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