Google rejects DOJ antitrust claims in court filing

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FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2019, file photo a sign is shown on a Google building at their campus in Mountain View, Calif. Google is formally pushing back on antitrust claims brought against it by the Justice Department two months ago. In a legal filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Google generally denied the legal claims against it and said that people use its search engine “because they choose to, not because they are forced to or because they cannot easily find alternative ways to search for information on the Internet.” (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Google is pushing back in court this week on antitrust claims brought against it by the Justice Department two months ago.

In a legal filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Google denied or partially rejected almost 200 specific complaints against it. On only one count, that Google was a “founded in Menlo Park garage 22 years ago,” did the company side with the Justice Department.

It said that people use its search engine “because they choose to, not because they are forced to or because they cannot easily find alternative ways to search for information on the Internet."

In October the Justice Department sued Google for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising — the government’s most significant attempt to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago.

And last week U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta set a tentative trial date of Sept. 12, 2023 for the landmark case.

Google has fiercely denied government allegations that it has illegally struck a series of deals to thwart competition in the search market to help give it a stranglehold on a digital advertising market that has brought in more than $100 billion in revenue to the company during the first nine months of this year alone.

The company’s insistence that it has done nothing wrong makes a pre-trial settlement seem unlikely.