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What's at stake in the Google antitrust case? Billions of dollars (and the way we use the internet)

·1 min

Whenever you type a search into Apple’s Safari browser, chances are it’s Google that returns the results. You can tell Safari to pick another search engine, but most people tend to stick with Google by default. Google pays Apple enormous sums of money for that prime placement. By May 2021, Google was paying Apple more than $1 billion a month, according to the US government, and as much as $20 billion in total in 2022 — just for the privilege of being Apple’s primary search engine. Those figures come from an antitrust lawsuit against Google. The Justice Department launched its final assault on Google’s search engine dominance, trying to persuade a federal judge that Google illegally monopolized the online search industry through payments like the kind it’s made to Apple. Closing arguments in the case will continue through Friday, and a decision is expected later this year. The outcome could have far-reaching effects on the tech industry, serving as a bellwether for other tech antitrust cases moving through the courts.