In the ongoing antitrust trial against Google, an executive from Apple, Eddy Cue, defended the decision to make Google the default search engine on Apple devices, stating that there was no valid alternative. The U.S. Department of Justice has accused Google of stifling competition by paying companies like Apple and Verizon to prioritize its search engine. Cue argued that Google’s search engine is superior to its competitors and that users have the option to switch to other search engines if they choose. The trial, which began in September, is the largest antitrust case since Microsoft’s legal battle 25 years ago.
Microsoft’s head of advertising and web services, Mikhail Parakhin, also testified during the trial, supporting the government’s argument that Google’s dominance in the market is self-sustaining. Parakhin explained that the more data Google collects through searches, the better its search results become. He also noted that dominating the market provides additional benefits, such as ensuring that businesses prioritize accurate information on the leading search engine. Parakhin shared his experience battling Google as the CTO of the Russian search engine, Yandex, highlighting how Yandex’s market share increased after Russian regulations allowed users to choose their default search engine.
The trial also included testimony from a behavioral economist who claimed that Google’s default status discourages users from switching search engines due to ingrained habits. The founder of DuckDuckGo, a search engine with a small market share, testified about the challenges his company faces in competing with Google due to revenue-sharing agreements. The judge presiding over the case is expected to deliver a ruling early next year, which could potentially restrict Google from paying companies to make its search engine the default option.