A landmark court case begins today (September 12) between the U.S. government and Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL).
Antitrust regulators are taking Alphabet to court over the dominance of its Google search engine that has become the primary gateway to the internet.
The legal case represents the biggest U.S. antitrust trial since regulators set their sights on Microsoft (MSFT) and its dominance of personal computer software in the late 1990s.
The 10-week trial is expected to include testimony from top executives at Google and its corporate parent Alphabet, as well as other powerful technology companies.
Alphabet chief executive officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai is expected to be among the high-profile witnesses called to testify in the antitrust case.
The case against Google’s dominant search engine is almost identical to the one brought against Microsoft, say legal experts.
The trial is scheduled to run through the end of November. A ruling isn’t expected until early 2024.
If it is determined that Google has broken the law, a second trial will be scheduled to determine what measures should be taken to reign in the technology giant.
Alphabet is today worth $1.7 trillion U.S. and employs 182,000 people worldwide, with most of the money coming from $224 billion U.S. in annual advertising revenue tied to the search engine that fields billions of queries a day from people all over the globe.
Lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department will try to prove that Google has been abusing the power of its search engine to stifle competition in ways that discourage innovation.
Google’s army of lawyers is expected to argue that the company has never stopped improving its search engine, executing on its mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.
Despite controlling 90% of the internet search market, Google argues that it contends with a lot of competition, including from Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Yelp (YELP), where people search for products to buy and places to eat.
Alphabet’s stock has risen 24% over the past 12 months and currently trades at $136.92 U.S. per share.