What you need to know
- The judge presiding over the DOJ's antitrust case against Google has set a tentative date for the trial.
- A 2023 date will loom over Google and any potential business moves.
- The case with the DOJ is likely to be joined by two other lawsuits filed by state attorneys.
As if Google didn't have enough to worry about, now it has to endure a major lawsuit looming over the company for the next couple of years. Judge Amit Mehta, who is presiding over the case filed against it by the Justice Department, has issued a tentative date for the trial to begin, and its September 12th, 2023. In addition to this case, Google is also facing two other antitrust cases that could be combined with this one.
The cases all allege that Google holds an illegal monopoly over the ads that appear in search results. They also claim that making its search engine the default on a number of devices, such as the best Android phones, "forces" itself on consumers and giving them largely no choice. Our Google antitrust faq page explains in more detail the allegations by the Justice Department, which is largely mirrored by the two additional lawsuits filed by state attorneys.
Waiting such a long time for the trial could have a negative impact on Google because, for the next few years, every move it makes will be under extra scrutiny. It also won't play out nicely with public opinion of Google, which is already probably shaky at best. A very public antitrust case isn't likely to bolster much sympathy for the company, which is facing not only the three separate antitrust cases but also an internal dispute over AI ethics.
To make matters worse, a lawyer for the Justice Department estimated the trial could take as long as 12 weeks once it starts, so Google could be facing these antitrust allegations until at least 2024.
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