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It's time for closing arguments in Google's search trial

Illustration of a gavel with a flashlight head on one end, with its light filled with Google colors

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Google's search trial is nearing the end, with the tech giant preparing to make closing remarks.

The big picture: The company plans to keep repeating what it has said throughout the trial — people use Google because it's useful and convenient, not for lack of other choices or anti-competitive choices that the company has made.

Driving the news: Closing arguments for the Justice Department's search trial against Google are taking place today and tomorrow. Both Google and the DOJ will speak.

The company will defend its deals with Apple and Android, saying those two companies rely on Google and have repeatedly picked it as a partner. It will point to advancements in AI as reasons why the case is dated.

  • It will concede that it "competes to promote" Google search to people, but that it's easy enough for users to use other search engines if they choose.
  • It also will argue that beyond search engines, specialized sites like Yelp and Expedia count as fierce competitors.

The other side: DOJ's closing arguments will likely focus on Google's decision to pay billions of dollars to be the default search engine, which Judge Amit Mehta called a question at the heart of the case in a previous proceeding.

  • The government views those payments as evidence that Google is crowding out competition.
  • DOJ is likely to try to use more specific figures about Google's payments and the nature of the payments.

What's next: The judge may issue a decision shortly after closing arguments, but it's more likely a decision comes later this summer.

  • DOJ is likely to call for a remedy that is forward looking to account for AI and any other technological advances.
  • If Google is found liable, a lengthy evidentiary hearing is expected next, followed by an appeal.
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