Leaked Google Email Reignites Antitrust Concerns over Search Monopoly

UNITED STATES: A leaked internal email from Google has intensified the ongoing antitrust case with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), shedding light on the company’s intentions regarding its Chrome browser.

The email, sent by Jim Kolotouros, Google’s VP of Android Platform Partnerships, stated that “Chrome exists to serve Google search,” adding weight to allegations of Google’s monopolistic practices in the online search market.

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The DOJ has long accused Google of maintaining a stranglehold on the search market, contending that the company’s efforts to establish itself as the default search engine on various platforms stifle competition. In response, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, has maintained that the company’s practices do not harm competitors.

Kolotouros’ email has provided new ammunition for those arguing against Google’s stance. He asserted that if Chrome were regulated to allow users to choose their default search engine, the value of Chrome to him would be nearly negligible. 

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Currently, Google Chrome boasts over 61% of the browser market share, with Safari trailing at 24.36%. Other browsers, such as Microsoft Edge and Firefox, hold smaller market shares.

Pichai drew parallels between the current situation and the era of Internet Explorer dominance, emphasizing that users gravitate towards Chrome for its quality and utility, rather than a lack of alternatives.

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The implications of Chrome’s reliance on Google search are significant. Users are unable to change the default search engine on Chrome unless they opt for an alternative browser like Microsoft Edge with Bing. 

Additionally, Google pays a staggering sum of over $20 billion to Apple to secure its position as the default search engine on Safari, further solidifying its dominance in the online search market.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has voiced concerns over Google’s practices, asserting that they are detrimental to Bing as a business and product.

In a bid to level the playing field, Microsoft is reportedly willing to pay approximately $15 billion to Apple to make Bing the default search engine on the Safari browser.

Also Read: Microsoft Takes a Stance: Blocks Unauthorised Accessories for Xbox Consoles


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