Skip to main content
All Stories Tagged:


How big is too big? And when does a company become so big that the government is forced to step in and make it smaller? Politicians have been struggling with those questions for at least a hundred years. But as the latest generation of tech companies has taken shape, the questions are becoming more and more relevant to internet giants like Google and Facebook. There’s a new movement in Washington to break up those companies, whether through a Justice Department lawsuit or an old-school appeal to the Sherman Antitrust Act. It’s a struggle Microsoft fended off in the ‘90s, and it has only grown more urgent in the years since. As Amazon has taken a stranglehold of online retail, Jeff Bezos’ company has started to attract antitrust attention as well, with figures like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Lina Khan taking aim at Amazon’s cutthroat competitive strategies. If it succeeds, it would be one of the most ambitious government projects in a generation — but success is still a long way off.

External Link
Satya Nadella is testifying in US v. Google next week.

The Microsoft CEO’s testimony will follow extensive questions this week about the company’s dealings with Apple and its struggle to get Bing on the iPhone, apparently including floating a sale of the search engine to Apple. And after a week of locked-down testimony, Judge Amit Mehta has directed as much of it as possible to take place in public session.

External Link
Apple also wants the Supreme Court to rule on its antitrust case vs. Epic Games.

Yesterday, Epic Games filed a request for the Supreme Court to review lower court rulings in their lawsuit over Apple’s App Store rules, hoping to get a new interpretation that’s more in their favor,

Now, on Thursday, Apple submitted its own request, linked below, seeking a review to throw out the judge’s requirement that it change App Store rules barring developers from telling users about other payment options.

The Google antitrust trial is still maddeningly locked-down.

It is frankly shameful that Judge Amit Mehta still hasn’t ruled on opening up access to documents in this industry-shaking trial, let alone made it clear when any of the trial itself would be open to the public. Today, Apple’s John Giannandrea testified in closed court while reporters waited outside with no communication from the court at all. Ridiculous.

Clickbait? In my antitrust trial?

Google says it’s more likely than you think! The company is still fighting with the DOJ over whether to admit a potentially “embarrassing” document into evidence — the one that led to public records of the trial getting pulled off the internet. Mehta says he’ll rule on admitting the document tomorrow.

And that’s right, it sounds like we also still don’t know if the Justice Department will be allowed to resume posting exhibits online. But we got some testimony from DuckDuckGo’s CEO on the company’s travails competing with Google.

Okay, can we see Google trial documents or not?

It’s the end of a locked-down day in US v. Google, culminating in some discussion of a yet-unviewed document at the center of a dispute between the two parties. And apparently we still don’t know if the Justice Department will be allowed to post exhibits from the trial (which, let’s reiterate, are public records) online. Frustrating!

Will US v. Google evidence stay public? We still don’t know.

Per Bloomberg’s Leah Nylen, there’s been “no word” on whether the Justice Department can keep posting exhibits online as they’re introduced in court.

External Link
Spotify says governments aren’t moving fast enough to crack down on Apple’s App Store restrictions.

“Apple’s artificial constraints are stifling and we know our users deserve better,” Dustee Jenkins, Spotify’s public affairs officer, wrote in a blog post today.

Jenkins sounds cautiously optimistic about the EU’s Digital Markets Act. But until similar rules are enacted elsewhere, she writes:

Apple denies consumers’ ability to choose for themselves, forcing them to pay more for apps, limiting their user experience and preventing them from hearing about cheaper options. 

US v. Google: all the news from the search antitrust showdown

One of the biggest tech antitrust trials since the US took on Microsoft is underway.

US v. Google, Week Two begins.

Here’s the list of expected witnesses for the day as week two for this trial between the DOJ and Google kicks off, starting at 9:30AM ET:

Verizon executive Brian Higgins, who will likely be questioned about Google’s exclusivity deals on Android. (This may take place in a closed court session.)

Google vice president and general manager of ads Jerry Dischler. Dischler has worked at Google since 2005, so there’s a lot of history to go over.

Former Google financial analyst John Yoo. Yoo’s LinkedIn bio describes his work as “research and analytics to structure and scale some of Google’s largest commercial deals meant to drive distribution and usage of Google’s services” on Android, among other tasks. He joined the company in 2016 and left in March of 2023.

Breaking down the Google antitrust trial.

The first day of US v. Google has wrapped up (with a blow-by-blow readthrough of an email argument from 2009, which I don’t think Google’s lawyers found as funny as I did), and I’m headed back to New York — I’ll have more details tomorrow.

For now, if you’d like an overview of what this whole case is about, I appeared on Today, Explained to... well, do exactly what the podcast’s name suggests.

Opening arguments in US v. Google just ended! Only ten weeks left to go.

I’ve just finished lunch after the Department of Justice, a group of state attorneys general, and Google made their opening arguments in today’s antitrust trial.

The Department of Justice wants Judge Amit Mehta to focus on “what Google did” — which, in its evaluation, is sign a bunch of restrictive Google Search exclusivity agreements with Apple, Mozilla, and Android manufacturers. Google is arguing that the whole trial is a gift to Microsoft, which (again, in its evaluation) has dismally failed to compete with Google on Search.

There’s no public feed after opening statements, but I’ll be back in court soon to watch the Department of Justice question Google’s chief economist Hal Varian about default search settings. Oh, and there’s a guy in a fake mustache and monocle wandering the halls.

The atrium of the DC federal courthouse, with four floors of wooden balconies and people sitting on benches.
I can’t post from the courtroom, sorry! But it’s somewhere up those stairs.
Photo by: Adi Robertson
External Link
A federal judge says three Apple executives have to testify in the government’s Google antitrust case.

Lawyers for Eddie Cue, John Giannandrea, and Adrian Perica argued that “traveling 3,000 miles across the country from Northern California to testify at a bench trial” is “unduly burdensome” and would “risk disclosure of Apple’s sensitive commercial information.”

US District Judge Amit Mehta denied their petition and says they must testify at the trial, writes Reuters, which is scheduled to begin September 12th. The trial will decide if Google has monopolistic power in the online ads space.

External Link
The FTC could file its antitrust lawsuit against Amazon this month.

Amazon didn’t offer up any concessions during its “last rites” meeting with the FTC in August, the WSJ reports — its final chance to appease regulators ahead of the incoming lawsuit.

That means the FTC could file its massive lawsuit against Amazon in the coming weeks. The agency’s suit will reportedly touch upon various aspects of Amazon’s business, while also suggesting “structural remedies” that could potentially break up the tech giant.

The Verge
The business of online search is deeply tricky.

That’s something we all might know intuitively, but earlier this week David Pierce published this great piece that gets into the nitty gritty of why its so difficult for anyone to unseat Google.

If you haven’t read it yet you should give it a go this morning. It’s a great way to start your Saturday.

Why it’s impossible to compete with Google Search

A couple of ex-Googlers set out to create the search engine of the future. They built something faster, simpler, and ad-free. So how come you’ve never heard of Neeva?

External Link
Microsoft’s EU antitrust whack-a-mole continues.

Oof. Right as Microsoft gets approval for its Activision Blizzard buy, it apparently has another regulatory fight on its hands. Bloomberg reports that the EU antitrust wing is investigating whether it’s using confidential information to gain a competitive edge in the cloud services space there.

This comes after complaints from Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe (CISPE), a trade association of European cloud service providers.

Google’s own chatbot wants Google to be broken up.

At least, that’s what Bard told Jane Manchun Wong. Rough.