Google: Don’t punish us for our success in Search

Google claims the U.S. Government is trying to penalize it for being successful in a post-trial brief submitted to a DC Judge.

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Google accused the U.S. government of wanting to punish it for being more successful than its competitors.

The company made the comments in an unsealed post-trial brief submitted to a DC federal judge as part of its ongoing legal battle with the U.S. Department of Justice, which has accused it of unlawfully monopolizing the search market.

Within the legal documents, Google argued that its position as the world’s leading search engine results from its “unceasing hard work” and contended that if it lost the antitrust trial, the verdict would contradict U.S. antitrust law.

What Google is saying. Google stated in the legal document:

  • “The evidence conclusively established that Google is the highest quality, most popular search engine in the United States, with the highest general search engine advertising monetization…Yet Plaintiffs would have Google punished and uniquely handicapped from competing to win these revenue share agreements.”
  • “The purpose? To prop up lesser general search engine competitors in the hopes that will give them greater incentives and opportunities to improve their search quality — despite a long track record of failing to achieve such success in the past.”
  • “That result is antithetical to U.S. antitrust law. Punishing a successful firm that has out-innovated its competitors to the benefit of consumers harms competition, not the other way around.”

Search Ads 360. Google also addressed the claim by the Colorado Plaintiffs regarding its alleged unfair operation of SA360, stating it’s not obligated to engage with Microsoft on SA360 features. Google argued that its conduct aligns with standard practices, and it contends that the Colorado Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate harm to its competitiors. The post-trial brief added:

  • “Punishing Google’s conduct here would harm, not promote, competition by diminishing Google’s incentives to offer and improve its cross-platform SA360 tool in the manner most responsive to advertisers’ demands.”

What is Search Ads 360? SA360 is a platform for managing large search marketing campaigns across multiple search engines. It makes handling ads and keywords more efficient and allows for easier analysis of performance. SA360 also offers automated bidding through bid strategies.

What the DOJ is saying. The DOJ accused Google of employing contracts with phone manufacturers and web browser operators for substantial sums of money to limit competition from other search engines like Microsoft’s Bing. The DOJ is expected to submit its own brief.

Next steps. The final arguments for the trial that spanned several weeks last year are expected in May.

Why we care. If the U.S. Government wins, Google might not be the default search engine on computers, laptops and mobile devices anymore. This could let rivals like Microsoft and Yahoo have a chance at becoming the top search engine, changing how we search online.

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Deep dive. Read Google’s post-trial brief in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius
Nicola Agius was Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land from 2023-2024. She covered paid media, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company's editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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