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“Consumers Aren’t Stupid” Google Tells EU

 |  October 3, 2021

Billions of people use Google because it’s the best, not because of deals the company made to stay competitive, Google’s lawyer said on Friday, wrapping up a week of testimony as the US tech giant fights a record US$5 billion antitrust fine. 

The European Commission hit Google with a €4.34 billion (US$5 billion) fine in 2018 for using its Android mobile operating system to thwart rivals and cement its dominance in general internet searching from 2011.

At issue are deals requiring phone makers to pre-install the Google Search app and the Chrome browser app together with Google Play, as well deals blocking some variants of Android.

Related: Google Tells EU Court $5B Antitrust Fine Is Flawed

“The reason why billions of people choose Google as their search tool every day is not because of an abuse of dominance. It’s because it’s the best,” lawyer Meredith Pickford told the EU’s General Court, the bloc’s second highest.

Pickford said the deals were far from being anti-competitive tools, rather they were to ensure Google stayed competitive.

“You can still compete hard and compete on the merits. Consumers aren’t stupid. If Bing or another search engine were better than Google, people would turn to it,” he said, referring to a rival Microsoft  search engine.

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