Google Urges Judge To Throw Out Antitrust Lawsuits Over Search Dominance

Google is urging a federal judge to dismiss antitrust lawsuits brought by federal and state authorities who alleged that the company monopolizes the market for search engines.

The lawsuits, filed in late 2020, include claims that Google obtained dominance in search by arranging to be the default search engine in Mozilla's Firefox browser and Apple's Safari browser, and by arranging to have its search engine pre-installed on Android smartphones.

Google argues in a motion for summary judgment that its agreements with Mozilla and Apple are not anti-competitive for several reasons, including that the deals don't prevent consumers from using other search engines.

“Apple and Mozilla can -- and do -- promote other search engines,” Google writes in papers filed with U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta. The papers were filed last month, but only made public on Wednesday.

“Apple and Mozilla (and virtually every other browser developer) have chosen to design their browsers with a single default search engine upon first use which can be changed by the user,” Google continues. “A browser provider’s selection of a single default search engine cannot 'exclude' its rivals in any legally cognizable sense.”

The company adds that its search engine deals with Apple and Mozilla, which date to 2004 and 2005, reflect the quality of the Google search engine.

“Google has prevailed in the ongoing competition to be the default search engine in most third-party browsers in the U.S. since the mid-2000s because companies such as Mozilla and Apple have repeatedly determined it is the best option for creating a compelling search experience for their customers,” the company argues.

Google also says it is entitled to summary judgment regarding a claim that it wrongly arranged to become the “exclusive” pre-installed search engine on Android devices.

That claim “fails to consider all the ways in which rivals can compete for promotion on Android devices, as well as the ways in which consumers can access other search engines on those same devices,” Google writes.

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