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Judge Mehta Questions Both Sides in Landmark Google Antitrust Case

 |  May 2, 2024

During two days of hearings in Washington, Federal Judge Amit Mehta challenged the central arguments of both the US government and Google lawyers as they presented their closing arguments in a landmark antitrust trial. Reported by the New York Times, Judge Mehta’s probing questions come six months after the conclusion of testimony, with his decision anticipated later in the year.

The case, which could have far-reaching implications for the tech sector, centers on allegations that Google has unlawfully maintained a monopoly in online search. During the first day of closing arguments, Judge Mehta challenged key aspects of both parties’ positions.

The Justice Department contends that Google’s dominance in online search has negatively impacted user experience and stifled competition. However, Judge Mehta raised doubts about this assertion, questioning whether Google’s innovations over the years undermine the argument that it has failed to invest in improving search quality.

Furthermore, the judge probed Google’s defense that it faces robust competition from companies like Amazon and TikTok. He highlighted the distinction between Google’s search engine and other platforms, indicating that they serve different purposes for users.

Related: Landmark Monopoly Trial Between DOJ and Google Wraps Up

One of the critical points of contention was Google’s alleged lack of privacy protections in its search engine. Judge Mehta acknowledged the potential trade-off between privacy and search quality but expressed difficulty in determining whether Google has adequately safeguarded user privacy.

Throughout the proceedings, Judge Mehta challenged both sides to substantiate their claims and arguments. His ruling, expected in the coming weeks or months, could set a precedent for future antitrust cases against major tech companies.

Source: New York Times