Google desires choose, not jury, determine upcoming antitrust case in Virginia

May 16, 2024 | blog

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Google on Thursday requested {that a} choose, reasonably than a jury, determine whether or not it violated U.S. antitrust legal guidelines by constructing a monopoly on the expertise that powers internet advertising.

To bolster its case, the tech large wrote a multimillion-dollar test to the U.S. authorities that it says renders moot the federal government’s finest argument for demanding a jury trial.

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The antitrust case set to go earlier than a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, in September is one among two main lawsuits the Justice Department has introduced in opposition to Google. While the Virginia case focuses on promoting expertise, an ongoing case within the District of Columbia focuses on Google’s dominance as a search engine.

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Both sides within the D.C. case have introduced proof and made closing arguments. A choose there’ll determine whether or not Google violated the legislation.

Google desires a choose to determine the deserves of the case in Virginia, as effectively. The firm argues in court docket papers filed Thursday that it’s unprecedented for a jury to determine a federal antitrust case introduced by the federal government. It says that this case specifically includes “an advanced, intricate expertise ecosystem, which DOJ has acknowledged to this Court is ‘highly technical, often abstract, and outside the everyday knowledge of most prospective jurors.”‘

A Department of Justice spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Thursday evening.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, makes two primary arguments for striking the government’s demand for a jury trial. For starters, Google argues that the constitutional proper to a jury trial doesn’t apply to a civil go well with introduced by the federal government.

The proper to a jury trial, based mostly within the Bill of Rights, “protects citizens against the federal government, not the other way around,” Google’s legal professionals write of their court docket submitting.

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The firm acknowledges within the court docket papers, although, that the Justice Department has a stronger argument for demanding a jury in a case the place it seeks financial damages, versus merely in search of equitable aid, like forcing Google to dump components of its promoting expertise.

In the Virginia case, the Department of Justice seeks financial damages on behalf of federal businesses, together with the Army, that it says had been harmed by Google’s monopolistic practices and overpaid for on-line advertisements that they bought.

In its court docket submitting, Google contends that the injury declare was tacked on to the lawsuit on the final minute for the only objective of permitting them to hunt a jury.

The Department of Justice “manufactured a damages claim at the last minute in an attempt to secure a jury trial in a case even they describe as ‘highly technical’ and ‘outside the everyday knowledge of most prospective jurors,” the corporate mentioned in a written assertion Thursday.

Google’s submitting Thursday mentioned the corporate has lower a test to the federal government that’s triple the quantity of the losses the federal government can declare. The precise quantity of the test is redacted, however in different court docket papers, Google mentioned the utmost quantity of damages the federal government was in a position to show throughout the discovery course of was lower than $1 million.

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Because the legislation permits antitrust damages to be trebled, the test quantity could be lower than $3 million.

Google says it nonetheless disputes that the damages are reputable, however says that paying the federal government’s claimed damages eliminates the necessity for a jury to determine the damages query.

While Google says it’s unprecedented for a jury to determine a authorities antitrust go well with, Google has defended itself in entrance of a jury on antitrust circumstances introduced by non-public firms.

Last yr, a jury in San Francisco dominated in favor of Epic Games, the maker of the favored Fortnite recreation, in a case the corporate introduced in opposition to Google over the Google Play retailer, which permits customers of Android telephones to obtain apps.

In that case, Google tried unsuccessfully on the final minute to change the trial from a jury trial to a bench trial.

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