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Trial Begins to Punish Google for Being Too Popular.

The Biden administration thinks it knows better than consumers, and it is trying to break highly valued services like Google’s Search.

WASHINGTON—Tomorrow, the Justice Department begins its effort in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to punish Google for its success and popularity with consumers and reshape antitrust law in a progressive mold. 

The DOJ’s claims in the lawsuit are not backed by facts or evidence of consumer harm, and they ignore the hugely pro-competitive impact of Google Search. They are focused on how Google’s strength in the market is bad for its competitorsnot consumers, their welfare or their preferences. 

“Bidenomics’ effect can be described as raising prices and slowing the economy through overregulation. If the DOJ wins in this case against Google, the absurd tragedy of this ideology on American consumers will expand: we will pay more, get lower quality services and have less choice and power in the marketplace,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President & General Counsel. 

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.

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FIRST: There is nothing in this lawsuit about protecting consumers—the basis for antitrust enforcement.

  • Google Search’s customers choose it because they like it. The company provides a high-quality product, and surveys show that Google is ranked among the most trusted brands, both globally and in the U.S.
  • There is no evidence of harm to consumers by Google. Prices aren’t going up, and the company’s products and services are continually improving.
    • In fact, MarketWatch’s recent analysis shows that many of the tech products which Biden’s antitrust crusaders are targeting are actually decreasing in price, despite record inflation across the U.S. economy:
      • “The cost of smartphones recorded an unadjusted percentage decrease of 23.9% since March 2022, BLS data show.”
      • “The information-technology commodities sector also experienced significant price cuts among computers and smart-home assistant prices. The category, which also includes computer parts, had an unadjusted percent decline of 5.8%, BLS data show. Computer software accessories, meanwhile, took a year-over-year dip of 1%.”
  • And when it comes to digital ads, prices are at historic lows, and quality has never been higher. Prices for online advertising have declined 40% since 2010, while the cost of more traditional advertisements in newspapers, television and radio stagnated or increased. With online ads, businesses can more effectively target the consumers that are more likely to engage with their products and services, increasing the quality of advertising. These low costs and effective targeting mechanisms have benefitted small businesses in particular. 

SECOND: Competition in the “Search Wars” is fierce—and is only heating up with the rise of search on both social media and using generative artificial intelligence.

  • Other search engines, such as Microsoft’s Bing and DuckDuckGo, are performing well and gaining ground on Google.
  • Generative AI is also already changing the search game in its infancy. OpenAI’s ChatGPT (now integrated into Bing and the 365 suite of products) is the clear market leader in generative AI, and the service stands to detract from Google Search. Analysts note that “New competition in search from ChatGPT and Bing will disrupt search market share, monetization and costs.”
  • Social media services are heating up the search competition, too. According to a recent study, “82% of all generations prefer to search on social media rather than a search engine.” Web users are going to TikTok and Instagram to search for product reviews and educational resources, LinkedIn for professional contacts and job searches, Amazon and Walmart to begin product searches, and more. The DOJ’s scope of what “web searches” are fails to capture the entire marketplace. 

THIRD: If bureaucrats are allowed to pick winners and losers in this way, consumers stand to lose.

  • If the DOJ’s case is successful, many low-cost online services like Google Search may either no longer be available to consumers, or they will be more expensive and have a higher barrier to entry. 
  • This case is about protecting competitors—not consumers or competition. Microsoft is one of the biggest advocates for this case as it wants its Bing search engine to replace Google on devices. If the DOJ is successful in this case, it will be undermining smartphone products, undercutting their ability to make business decisions, and harming consumer privacy.
    • Since early this year, Bing integrated ChatGPT, which creates a new security vulnerability for users who submit confidential data and source code as part of their prompts to ChatGPT. 
    • Forcing companies like Apple, which prides itself on the highest standards for security user experience for its customers, will undercut these critical practices that protect iOS users daily. 
    • Unlike Google Search, Microsoft’s Bing is the only foreign search engine allowed to operate in China and obeys the CCP’s censorship mandates. Occasionally, Microsoft has applied the CCP censorship to global users of Bing, like that which happened during the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. 

THE UPSHOT: If the DOJ is successful in this case, the Biden administration will use a win to continue weaponizing its antitrust authority against American businesses. It will further adopt incredibly broad antitrust language within agencies like the FTC so it can push a progressive agenda, either overtly through legal actions or covertly via coercive actions.