Google to Face Trial Over Antitrust Claims in U.S. Court


A federal judge ruled on Friday that Alphabet’s Google must proceed to trial over allegations by U.S. antitrust enforcers that it unlawfully dominates the online advertising technology market. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, denied Google’s motion for summary judgment during a hearing, indicating that there are factual disputes that warrant a trial, according to court records.

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Google had sought to avoid a trial, arguing that antitrust laws do not prohibit companies from choosing not to engage with competitors, and contended that regulators had not accurately defined the market for ad tech services.

Details of the judge’s reasoning during the hearing were not disclosed in court papers. Such motions for summary judgment are typically granted when no factual disputes remain for trial.

The trial, scheduled to commence on September 9, will be presided over by Judge Brinkema, who is expected to hear arguments and evidence presented by both sides.

In response to the ruling, a Google spokesperson expressed readiness to clarify its position during the trial, stating, “We look forward to setting the record straight.”

The U.S. Justice Department, along with a coalition of states, filed a lawsuit against Google last year, accusing the tech giant of illegally monopolizing the digital advertising market and overcharging users. The lawsuit’s primary objective is to restructure Google’s digital advertising operations to foster greater competition in the industry.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the recent developments.

Additionally, Judge Brinkema agreed with regulators on Friday to disallow testimony from a former FBI agent acting as a cybersecurity consultant for Google, who had been proposed as an expert witness at the trial.

Last week, Google achieved a procedural victory when Judge Brinkema ruled to proceed with a bench trial rather than a jury trial, following the company’s settlement of claims that its conduct had harmed the U.S. government.

*Reporting by Jody Godoy in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski*

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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