The court document says that requiring Google not to compete vigorously — or requiring browser developers to alter their product designs and provide a worse experience for their customers,” it says, “would turn competition law on its head.”
The US Department of Justice and a coalition of state attorneys general sued Google in 2020, part of a multi-pronged approach to limit Google’s power. The latest complaint alleges that Google used its incumbent power and its Android operating system to lock up the search market, denying competitors “vital distribution, scale, and product recognition.” It seeks structural changes that would limit Google’s power over new entrants.
However, Google said its search deals with Mozilla and Apple to feature Google search in their browsers — don’t prevent users from trying other engines and are the result of Google simply outperforming its competitors.
“No evidence suggests that Google coerced Apple, Mozilla, or any other browser developer into adopting a design that includes a single default search engine,” it claims.
Similarly, it argues that its contracts with Android phone makers don’t constitute exclusive deals. And in a separate Colorado suit, it denies that it unlawfully stacked its search results against specialised “vertical” search engines like Yelp, which has persistently argued that Google favors its own services.
Google has been having a hard time of it in the EU where which has taken a more active approach to anti-monopoly efforts. Last year, the European Union General Court upheld a €4.125 billion (roughly $4.4 billion) fine for placing “unlawful restrictions” on Android phone manufacturers to consolidate its search dominance.
However, Google has been very successful at making more dangerous new US anti-trust policy go away.