Microsoft definitively buys Activision BlizzardOctober 14, 2023
The Mountain View company is accused by the US government and more than thirty states. The process is expected to last at least until November. This is a historic legal battle, which concerns the future of the Internet and the Silicon Valley giants.
The Justice Department takes the Mountain View company to court, accusing it of stifling competition. The trial sees the US government and more than thirty states and territories accusing the company of illegally creating a monopoly. “This case is about the future of the internet and whether Google will ever face significant competition,” said State Department attorney Kenneth Dintzer at the opening of the trial. According to Goolge’s lawyer John Schmidtlein ‘users now have more options than ever before in how they search for and access information online’. Schmidtlein stated in court that the Justice Department painted a picture that did not accurately reflect the market position of Google, which is committed to many pro-competitive policies.
A long-lasting legal battle
The trial, without a jury, is expected to last at least ten weeks and will involve a large number of witnesses. These could include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple’s Eddie Cue and Google’s number one Sundar Pichai. It will have to be established whether, as the US antitrust authorities claim, Google paid the major smartphone manufacturers to include its search engine in their devices by default. “This case is about Microsoft,” highlights Schmidtlein referring to another giant of comparable size that has its own search engine, Bing. It is not popular for ‘various reasons’, Google’s lawyer explains, and among these is Microsoft’s failure to invest and innovate. One must also bear in mind that in the search for services and content Mountain View has competition from many specialised services, such as Walmart and Amazon for shopping, Expedia and Booking.com for travel, and Uber and Grubhub for lunch and dinner delivery.
At this point, if Judge Metha rules against Google, a second proceeding will be opened, again under his supervision, to decide on remedies for the illegal conduct. This is a historic legal battle because it will establish or not establish the boundaries within which Silicon Valley giants can move in the digital world.