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Google Emphasizes Importance of Innovation in Antitrust Trial


Google executive Prabhakar Raghavan testified Thursday (Oct. 26) in the search and advertising giant’s ongoing antitrust trial, shedding light on the challenges the company faces from smaller rivals.

Raghavan emphasized the importance of innovation to avoid becoming the tech industry’s “next road kill” and to maintain Google’s position in the market, Reuters reported Thursday.

Google holds a market share of nearly 90% in the search engine market, which has raised allegations of unlawful abuse of power to maintain a monopoly, according to the report. The U.S. Department of Justice and a group of state attorneys general accused Google of breaking antitrust laws, including paying billions of dollars annually to smartphone makers and wireless carriers to secure its position as the default search engine on devices.

During his testimony, Raghavan said Google faces competition from various rivals, per the report. He mentioned, Instagram and TikTok as platforms that compete for users’ attention. Raghavan’s remarks highlight Google’s awareness of the need to stay ahead of these competitors and avoid losing relevance in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

To tackle the challenges posed by competitors, Raghavan emphasized Google’s commitment to innovation, the report said. He disclosed that the company has a dedicated team of approximately 8,000 engineers and product managers working on search, with around 1,000 solely focused on search quality.

Raghavan expressed particular concern about competing against, identifying it as one of the companies he worries most about, per the report. Additionally, he highlighted the growing trend of young people conducting searches on platforms like TikTok and other social media apps. Raghavan noted that older people tend to follow young people to new online platforms, emphasizing the need for Google to adapt to changing user behavior and ensure that its search engine remains relevant to all age groups.

In earlier testimony in the trial, John Giannandrea, an Apple senior vice president, revealed that Apple considered acquiring Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, as a potential competitor to Google’s search dominance. He testified that Apple explored the possibility of mounting a challenge against Google and engaged in discussions with Microsoft in 2018. Apple ultimately decided against pursuing the acquisition.