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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, given the numerous regulatory enforcement cases being brought against or contemplated for technology giants, it appears  that the Biden administration has declared war on Silicon Valley. Now the long anticipated trial of the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google, which began last Tuesday.

This marks a rare moment of bipartisanship as the DOJ and 52 attorneys general from states and US territories allege the search-engine Goliath illegally maintained a monopoly by paying billions of dollars to tech rivals, smartphone makers and wireless providers in exchange for being set as the preselected option or default on mobile phones and web browsers.
Google’s defense? Its product is so good that consumers can’t help but choose it. The litigation hearkens back to the government’s persecutorial antitrust battle with Microsoft at the turn of the century isn’t the only threat facing Google or the tech sector for that matter.
The DOJ has already filed a second antitrust case against Google over its advertising dominance. Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s increasingly aggressive Federal Trade Commission is looking to breakup Facebook parent Meta and is expected to sue Amazon as well.
The United States emerged as the massive winner in the “tech wars” of the last three decades is that Congress made a rare wise decision by passing a law in the mid-1990s (thank you Chris Cox), which essentially declared this new and revolutionary communications device called “the internet” tax-free, regulation-free, and lawsuit free. This laissez-faire strategy sparked a wild west gold rush of creativity and entrepreneurial explosion – unimpeded by government – that created tens of trillions of dollars of wealth and sprouted trillion-dollar companies from Google to Apple to Amazon to Facebook. They are all predominantly owned by more than 100 million American shareholders. If you are wondering who America won this tech race big time. We blew away the Europeans, the Japanese, the Chinese – all who got left picking up the crumbs.

Google was the first monster search engine – a great American success story. It now dominates 79% of the U.S. search market and an even higher share internationally. Why? Because it’s a monopoly. Hardly. There are scores of search engines from Bing to Apple’s Safari to Mozilla. Why does Google dominate? The same reason the Boston Celtics won 11 titles with Bill Russell. They have a superior product. Period. It processes a mindboggling 100,000 words per SECOND, and some 10 billion searches a DAY.

Monopolies are supposedly harmful because they use their market power to raise prices and hurt consumers. Hello!!! A Google search is FREE. It’s the greatest consumer bargain in world history. Google is rated one of the most trusted brands in America.

In a separate Justice Department probe into Apple could result in another lawsuit later this year. If the DOJ wins this first trial against Google, it may seek to break off parent Alphabet’s search business from other products—Android and Google Maps among them. Such an outcome would be the biggest forced breakup of a US company since AT&T was taken apart in 1984.

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