Google US antitrust trial: A timeline

Google’s dominance in the search arena has given rise to two major antitrust lawsuits from the U.S. government, which allege that the company has manipulated the market to maintain that dominance, to the exclusion of its competitors and the detriment of the public at large.

The first lawsuit, targeting Google’s search business, kicked off last week, and a second trial against the tech giant, focusing on advertising, is scheduled for next year.

The cases heavily echo the turn-of-the-century Microsoft antitrust case in several respects, not least of which is the fact that Google faces the possibility of being broken up by regulators if it is unsuccessful in its legal battles.

Here’s our condensed timeline of the two lawsuits, and their progress through the court system.

October 2020: The Department of Justice, along with the attorneys general of 11 states, sues Google in DC federal district court for unlawfully maintaining a monopoly, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The case centers on Google’s use of exclusive contracts that mandate its use as the default search engine in a host of different hardware and software applications, with the government alleging that this represents an artificial constraint on any possible competition for the search giant.

December 2020: Judge Amit P. Mehta approves the joinder of Michigan, Wisconsin and California to the suit.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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