Sundar Pichai to Testify in Landmark Antitrust Battle on Google’s Search Dominance

LI Network

Published on: October 30, 2023 at 12:11 IST

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, is set to appear as a witness on Monday in a landmark antitrust battle against Google, focusing on the tech giant’s supremacy in the realm of online search and certain aspects of search advertising.

Pichai, testifying on behalf of Google, is expected to face questions regarding the company’s strategic investments to maintain the competitiveness of its search services, particularly in the context of the proliferation of smartphones and advancements in search advertising.

In the cross-examination, government officials are likely to inquire about Google’s substantial annual expenditures, totaling billions of dollars, to secure its position as the default search engine on smartphones.

The government’s central argument asserts that Google, which commands around 90% of the search market, engaged in illegal practices by reportedly disbursing an estimated $10 billion annually to smartphone manufacturers like Apple and wireless carriers such as AT&T.

This financial arrangement ensured that Google’s search engine was the default option on their devices, thereby reinforcing its dominant position. This dominance in the search sector significantly bolsters Google’s standing in the highly profitable advertising industry, thereby enhancing its financial gains.

In response, Google contends that its revenue-sharing agreements are within the boundaries of the law and highlights its ongoing investments aimed at sustaining the competitiveness of its search and advertising divisions.

Moreover, the tech giant emphasizes that users have the freedom to opt for alternative search providers if they are dissatisfied with default settings, asserting that such choices are readily available and frequently exercised.

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