Companies choose Alphabet’s Google as the default search engine for their browsers and smartphones because it is the best, and not because of a lack of competition, a Google lawyer said Tuesday at the start of a high-stakes antitrust trial in Washington. From a report: Consumers use Google “because it brings value to them, not because they have to,” John Schmidtlein, a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP who represents the company, said during his opening statements on the first day of the trial. “Users today have more search options and ways to access information online than ever before.”
Schmidtlein pushed back on claims by antitrust enforcers at the U.S. Department of Justice that Google has used its market power — and billions of dollars in exclusive web browser deals — to illegally block rivals. Users have choices and it’s easy to switch, he said. For example, Microsoft pre-selects its own search engine, Bing, on Windows PCs, but most PC users switch to Google because it is a better product, he said. Web browsers offered by Apple and Mozilla, which make up Firefox, have long opted for a default search engine in exchange for a revenue share that helps pay for innovations, Schmiddlein said.