Eric Posner Writes About Corporate Opposition to Antitrust Reform as Google Trial Nears Conclusion

The Monopolists Fight Back

As the Google antitrust trial winds down, corporate opposition to antitrust reform in the United States is winding up – and not by coincidence. With the trial having once again revealed the prevalence of anticompetitive behavior in the tech industry, big corporations are turning to Congress to block the two federal agencies tasked with antitrust enforcement, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, from ramping up their efforts after decades of neglect.

In the Google trial, the Justice Department argues that the company has a monopoly over “general search” and related markets, and that it has illegally maintained this monopoly by, among other things, paying other tech firms to incorporate its search engine into browsers and devices such as smartphones. Google paid Apple $18 billion in 2021 alone. Though iPhone users can change the search-engine default by going into the settings menu, hardly anyone does.

For its part, Google argues that people prefer its search engine, and that Apple therefore might as well make it the default. But if everyone preferred the Google search engine, Google would not need to pay Apple billions of dollars every year to make it the default, nor would it be so worried (as Google’s CEO apparently was) about Apple deliberately degrading the Google search experience.

Read more at Project Syndicate