In a Monday filing, Google rebutted the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) accusations that it uses its multibillion-dollar deals with other tech firms to maintain its position as the dominant online search engine, Axios reported.
“People use Google Search because they choose to, not because they are forced to or because they cannot easily find alternative ways to search for information on the internet,” the company said in the filing.
Google also states in its filing that it has maintained its dominant position in the market because it “developed, continually innovated and promoted” its search engine product as part of its initiative to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Last week, US District Judge Amit Mehta set a tentative trial date of September 12, 2023, for the antitrust case, the DoJ’s biggest suit seeking to protect competition since its case against Microsoft in the 1990s.
Earlier this month, 10 state attorneys general also accused Google of illegally abusing its monopoly over a technology that delivers online ads, the New York Times reported. The complaint claims that Google achieved its monopoly in 2008 after its acquisition of DoubleClick, a company that developed and provided internet ad services.
Specifically, the state prosecutors accuse Google of overcharging publishers for the ads it displays across the web. In addition, the company is accused of striking a deal with Facebook to limit the social network’s efforts to compete with Google for ad dollars.
Google has claimed that the allegations made in that suit are “baseless,” the Times reported.
Google is not the only tech company facing additional scrutiny.
The Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 states accused Facebook earlier this month of illegally thwarting competition by acquiring younger rivals.
An October report written and published by the majority staff of the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust accuses Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google of participating in anticompetitive behavior.
“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report states.