US wraps up antitrust case against Google

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The US government highlighted key parts of its antitrust arguments against Alphabet’s Google on Thursday, wrapping up the evidentiary phase of a court battle in which it has accused the tech company of breaking the law with its tactics used to dominate online search.

In the trial that started on September 12 and is expected to largely end Thursday, the Justice Department is seeking to prove that Google is a monopolist and illegally abused that monopoly power to favor its own bottom line.

No decision on whether to hold closing arguments, the final phase of the trial, has been made. They may be held in the spring, according to courtroom discussions about future hearings.

Witnesses from Verizon, Android maker Samsung and Google itself have previously testified about the company’s annual payments – $26.3 billion in 2021 – to ensure that its search is the default on smartphones and browsers and to keep its market share in the stratosphere.

The final witness for the US, MIT economics professor Michael Whinston, argued as the hearing began that those contracts helped provide Google with market power in the search advertising market and that “Google has exercised significant market power by raising prices.”