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Washington: In a landmark trial, the US government has accused Google of paying approximately $10 billion annually to Apple and other companies to maintain its monopoly in the online search market. The trial, which opened in a Washington courtroom, is the most significant antitrust case against a tech company in the United States in over two decades, since the Microsoft case involving the dominance of its Windows operating system.
The core of the case revolves around the government's assertion that Google unfairly established its dominance in online search through exclusive agreements with device manufacturers, mobile operators, and other companies. These contracts effectively eliminated any opportunity for competitors to enter the market. Over the past decade, this strategy created a "feedback loop," where Google's dominance expanded further due to its exclusive access to user data, which its competitors could not match.
Google's search engine has been a significant revenue source for its parent company, Alphabet, contributing nearly 60 percent of its total revenue. This dominance has overshadowed income generated from other ventures, such as YouTube and Android phones.
Google vehemently denied the allegations, asserting that its search engine's success is the result of its quality and substantial investments made over the years. Despite the legal challenges, Google maintains its position as the world's leading search engine, capturing a 90 percent share of the market in the United States and globally, with a substantial portion of this market share coming from mobile usage on iPhones and Android-powered devices. The outcome of this trial holds significant implications for the future of the internet and whether Google will continue to face meaningful competition in the online search space. The company will present its case in an attempt to persuade Judge Amit P. Mehta that the Department of Justice's allegations lack merit.