The DOJ Antitrust Case Against Google Proves Shaky Early On

Washington, D.C. (9/22/2023) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) case against Google search continues to fall short. While DOJ lawyers are arguing that their case would protect competition and consumers, the weakness of the government’s case and its inability to stand up to the facts of the law is becoming ever more transparent. 

“The government’s case is fundamentally flawed,” writes James Rogan in this Washington Examiner piece at the conclusion of the trial’s first week. “First, the foundational principle of United States antitrust law is consumer welfare, and a corollary principle is economic efficiency. Instructively, it’s also notable that this case was launched against the recommendation of career Justice Department lawyers… Top line: Google search is free to the consumer. How can the consumer be harmed if Google search is free?” 

And then there’s this article by Cyberlaw Podcast host Stewart Baker in Reason headlined, “Is the government’s antitrust case against Google already in trouble?” 

[I]f paying for defaults is bad, what’s the remedy? Not paying for them? Assigning default search engines at random? That would set trust-busting back a generation with consumers,” Baker continues. 

It appears that the basic flaws of this case, which former Rep. Barbara Comstock lays out this in this USA Today opinion piece, are coming to light:

 “From the beginning, the Biden administration’s novel and aggressive antitrust theories have raised eyebrows. This can be seen in the Federal Trade Commission’s forthcoming case against Amazon Prime, a service beloved by American consumers. Similarly, internet users see Google as the best search engine, and they overwhelmingly prefer it. American consumers’ strong preference for Google’s search engine does not transform this incredibly successful product into an antitrust violation.”

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