Reasons for Favoring Google over the DOJ
In our antitrust survey, we presented participants with a summary of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit centers on Google’s agreements with internet browser companies (e.g., Firefox) and mobile device manufacturers (e.g. Apple, Samsung, LG) to make Google their default search engine. We asked survey respondents questions about the strength of the DOJ’s case, who they’d favor, and why they would favor that party. Below are some of the reasons why participants ended up favoring Google over the DOJ.
Google Has Earned Its Market Share
Many of the respondents saw the case as simply as Google deserves its dominant market share because it has a high quality product. Participants said they and others choose to use Google because it is the best search engine, gives the best search results, and is easy to use. They believed whatever monopoly-like control Google has over the industry, it was well-earned.
People Can Change Their Default Search Engine
The idea that people have a choice in which search engine they use was a popular sentiment. Participants favoring Google over the DOJ believed that changing the default search engine was a matter of choice and not solely controlled by Google. Some respondents talked about how easy it is to change search engines and echoed the theme offered by others – people choose Google because it is the best search engine available, not because Google forces them to.
Other Companies Would Also Do What Google Is Doing: "It's Just Business"
Many participants believed that Google’s agreements with device manufacturers and browser companies were smart, competitive business decisions and not inherently anticompetitive. Additionally, some respondents mentioned that any other company would enact the same practices if it had a product as good as Google’s search engine. Many participants favoring Google over the DOJ drew comparisons between Google’s practices and Microsoft’s deals with PC manufacturers.
Negative Opinions of the DOJ's Actions Against Google
Other participants who favored Google over the DOJ believed the DOJ’s pursuit of this case was unfounded and unnecessary.