Ten-Week Google Search Trial Highlights Many Choices for Searching Online, DOJ’s Intentions to Benefit Google Competitors and Not Consumers 

Washington, D.C. 11/17/2023 – As the ten-week trial for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) case against Google Search came to a close this week, the trial illustrated the choices that consumers have when searching online and exposed the DOJ’s efforts to benefit Google’s competitors, not consumers. As much as the DOJ’s Antitrust Division would like to hobble the Google Search tool, they still have not made their case because consumers benefit and they have not proven anticompetitive behavior.

The trial also presented testimony about how Google continues to innovate and improve the quality of its product in an effort to stay ahead of the competition, as well as how, despite other alternatives, many consumers continue to choose Google Search. The trial also showed how Google chose to make investments to continue to improve Google Search, while its competitors chose to focus elsewhere. 

Google’s commitment to and investment in innovation has helped develop Google Search into a competitive product.  

“Aware of its own competitive mortality, Google has innovated unrelentingly to better its product and to ward off insurgent competitors. This dynamic typifies a properly functioning market, in which the company that provides the best product – irrespective of its status as either an upstart or an incumbent – wins,” per the Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Consumers continue to choose Google Search. 

In just one example that arose during the trial, Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker testified “that Mozilla’s popular browser Firefox tried to switch from using Google as a default search engine but reverted back after a ‘failed’ bet on Yahoo made it clear that Google was Firefox users’ preferred search engine,” per Ars Technica.

Google prioritized investment in its Search product while competitors made other choices

“But in a slide deck that was disseminated between MSFT [Microsoft] execs heading search, a slide titled “Our Mobile Search Story Sucks” stated that the gap between Microsoft and Google was “absurdly large” and there was no plan installed on how to fix this,” per Chamber of Progress Legal Analyst Vidushi Dyall on X. (More here). 

Whether or not the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice will fail in the flawed mission to undermine consumers’ interests remains to be seen.

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