Google Pays $2 Million to Avoid Jury Trial in Antitrust Case

A US federal judge ruled on Friday that Google’s antitrust lawsuit, initiated by the US government, will be decided by a judge rather than a jury after Google paid $2.3 million to cover the lawsuit’s monetary damages.

This antitrust case, focusing on Google’s advertising technology, marks the Biden administration’s first major antitrust action against a Big Tech company. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema’s decision is a setback for the Justice Department, which had sought a jury trial.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and several states have accused Google of engaging in anticompetitive practices through mergers and coercing publishers and advertisers to use its proprietary ad technology.

Google argued that its payment settled the government’s damages claim, rendering a jury trial unnecessary. Judge Brinkema sided with Google, agreeing that the payment resolved the financial aspect of the case.

Google spokesperson Peter Schottenfels welcomed the ruling, stating, “DOJ’s contrived damages claim has disintegrated. We’re glad the Court ruled that this case will be tried by a judge. This case is a meritless attempt to pick winners and losers in a highly competitive industry that has contributed to overwhelming economic growth for businesses of all sizes. We look forward to making our case in court.”

A hearing on Google’s motion for summary dismissal, which could end the case without a trial, is scheduled for June 21. If the motion is not granted, a bench trial is set to begin in September.

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