Google wants judge, not jury, to decide upcoming antitrust case in Virginia


Google’s Antitrust Battle: A Legal Challenge Over Monopoly Claims

Google is facing a significant legal challenge in the United States over allegations that it has built a monopoly in online advertising technology. The case, which is set to be heard in September in Alexandria, Virginia, is one of two major lawsuits brought against Google by the Justice Department.

The Nature of the Lawsuit

The lawsuit in Virginia focuses specifically on Google’s practices in advertising technology. It alleges that Google has used anticompetitive strategies to dominate this sector, ultimately harming competition and raising prices for online ads. The government’s case centers on whether Google’s actions violate U.S. antitrust laws, which are designed to prevent monopolies and promote fair competition.

Google’s Legal Strategy

Google has requested that a judge, rather than a jury, decide the case. The company argues that the complexity of the technology involved in the case makes it unsuitable for a jury trial. According to Google, the technology ecosystem related to online advertising is highly technical and abstract, beyond the understanding of most jurors.

In its court filings, Google points out that it is unusual for a federal antitrust case brought by the government to be decided by a jury. The company asserts that the constitutional right to a jury trial is intended to protect citizens against the federal government, not the other way around. However, Google acknowledges that the government may have a stronger argument for a jury trial if it were seeking monetary damages.

The Department of Justice’s Position

The Department of Justice, representing the U.S. government, argues that a jury trial is appropriate in this case. It seeks not only to stop Google’s anticompetitive practices but also to obtain monetary damages on behalf of federal agencies that it claims were harmed by Google’s actions. The damages are related to overpayments made for online ads purchased by federal agencies, including the Army.

Google contends that the damages claim was added late in the lawsuit to enable the government to demand a jury trial. The company states that it has already paid the government an amount equal to triple the maximum damages the government could demonstrate during the discovery process. Google claims this payment eliminates the need for a jury to decide on the damages.

Legal Precedents and Challenges

While Google argues against a jury trial in this case, it has previously defended itself in front of juries in antitrust cases brought by private companies. Last year, Google faced a jury trial in San Francisco, initiated by Epic Games, the developer of the popular Fortnite game. The case centered on Google’s practices in the Google Play store for Android apps. Despite Google’s attempt to switch to a bench trial at the last minute, the jury ruled in favor of Epic Games.

The District of Columbia Case

In addition to the Virginia case, Google is also facing a separate antitrust lawsuit in the District of Columbia. This case focuses on Google’s dominance as a search engine and the potential anticompetitive impact of its search practices. Both sides have presented evidence and made closing arguments in this ongoing case, and a judge is expected to make a decision.


Google’s legal battle over allegations of monopolistic behavior in online advertising technology is significant. The outcome of these lawsuits could have far-reaching implications for Google’s business practices and the future of competition in the tech industry. The decision on whether a judge or a jury will decide the Virginia case will impact how the case proceeds and how the claims against Google are ultimately decided.

As the legal proceedings continue, both Google and the Department of Justice are preparing their arguments and strategies. The tech giant maintains its position that the case’s complexities warrant a judge’s decision, while the government asserts the need for a jury to decide on the damages sought. The outcome of these legal battles will be closely watched by industry observers and stakeholders alike, as it may set new precedents in antitrust law and regulation in the digital age.


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