Google Under DOJ Scanner For Splurging To Maintain Search-Engine Dominance

Alphabet Inc's GOOG GOOGL Google pays billions of dollars each year to Apple Inc AAPL Samsung Electronics Co (OTC: SSNLF), and other telecom giants to illegally dominate as the default search engine, the U.S. Justice Department alleged, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Google spent "enormous numbers" as the default search engine on most browsers and all U.S. mobile phones, DOJ attorney Kenneth Dintzer told Judge Amit Mehta during a hearing in Washington.

The state attorneys general pursued a parallel antitrust suit against the search giant, pending before Mehta.

Also Read: EU, UK Launches Antitrust Investigations On Google, Meta

Google voiced competition from dozens of other companies beyond Microsoft Corp's MSFT Bing and DuckDuckGo. Its rivals also included ByteDance Ltd's TikTok, Meta Platforms Inc Inc AMZN, Grubhub Inc, and additional sites.

All parties agreed that new data on user search queries is key to a search engine's success. Google controls the most popular browser, Chrome, and Android's second-most popular mobile operating system. 

Dintzer focused on Google's search engine mechanics and how its default contracts have hemmed in potential rivals. 

On mobile, Google contracts with Apple, smartphone makers like Samsung and Motorola Solutions, Inc MSI, most browsers, and the three U.S. telecom carriers AT&T Inc TVerizon Communications Inc VZ, and T-Mobile U.S., Inc TMUS to ensure its search engine is set as the default and comes preinstalled on new phones.

Google's contracts make it the "gateway" by which most people find websites on the internet, preventing rivals from gaining the scale to challenge its search engine, Dintzer said.

Price Action: GOOG shares traded higher by 1.21% at $110.74 in the premarket on the last check Friday.

Photo by Firmbee via Pixabay

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