Focus Areas:    Antitrust | Antitrust Populism | Big Data | Consumer Welfare Standard | DOJ Antitrust Division | Google | Google Android | Harm to Competition | Internet Search | monopolization | Online Platforms | Populist Antitrust | Sherman Act | Technology | tl;dr

tl;dr – The DOJ’s Antitrust Case Against Google

Background: The Department of Justice and a few Republican state attorneys general have filed an antitrust suit against Google. The complaint alleges that Google’s deals with Android smartphone manufacturers, Apple, and third-party browsers to make Google Search their default general search engine are anticompetitive, harming consumers by denying Google’s competitors the scale and data they need to compete.

But… The DOJ case will struggle. Nothing in these deals limits the ability of users to switch from Google to another search engine if they want to, and switching is trivially easy. Nor do the deals constrain Android smartphone makers from pre-installing competing search engines alongside Google. In fact, consumers benefit from these deals because they mean lower handset prices and greater incentive for Google to invest in Android. Moreover, the competition among general search engines to secure these default positions isn’t constrained by Google, and that competition should encourage all search providers to invest in their products.

Read the full explainer here.

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