Google Wants a Judge, Not a Jury, to Decide Its Upcoming Antitrust Case in Virginia - Latest Global News

Google Wants a Judge, Not a Jury, to Decide Its Upcoming Antitrust Case in Virginia

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Google on Thursday asked a judge, not a jury, to decide whether the company violated U.S. antitrust laws by building a monopoly on the technology that powers online advertising.

To bolster its case, the tech giant wrote a multimillion-dollar check to the U.S. government, which it says invalidates the government’s best argument for demanding a jury trial.

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The antitrust case, scheduled to go before a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, in September, is one of two major lawsuits the Justice Department has filed against Google. While the Virginia case focuses on advertising technology, an ongoing case in the District of Columbia focuses on Google’s dominance as a search engine.

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Both sides in the DC case presented evidence and made closing arguments. A judge there will decide whether Google violated the law.

Google wants a judge in Virginia to rule on the case as well. The company argues in court papers filed Thursday that it is unprecedented for a jury to decide a federal antitrust case brought by the government. It states that this case in particular involves “an intricate, complex technology ecosystem that, as the DOJ acknowledged to this Court, is “highly technical, often abstract, and beyond the everyday knowledge of most prospective jurors.”

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Thursday evening.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, is making two main arguments for rejecting the government’s demand for a jury trial. First, Google argues that the constitutional right to a jury trial does not apply to a civil lawsuit filed by the government.

The right to a jury trial enshrined in the Bill of Rights “protects citizens from the federal government, not the other way around,” Google lawyers wrote in their court filing.

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But the company acknowledges in court filings that the Justice Department has a stronger case for requiring a jury trial in a case where it seeks financial damages rather than simply seeking fair compensation, such as allowing Google to sell parts of its advertising technology force .

In the Virginia case, the Justice Department is seeking monetary damages on behalf of federal agencies, including the Army, because they say they were harmed by Google’s monopolistic practices and overpaid for the online ads they purchased.

In its statement of claim, Google claims that the damages claim was added to the lawsuit at the last minute just to give them the opportunity to hire a jury.

The Justice Department “made a last-minute demand for damages to secure a jury trial in a case it describes as ‘highly technical’ and ‘outside the everyday knowledge of most potential jurors,'” the company said in a written statement Thursday.

Google’s Thursday filing said the company wrote the government a check for three times the amount of losses the government can claim. The exact amount of the check is redacted, but in other court filings, Google said the maximum amount of damages the government was able to prove during the investigation was less than $1 million.

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Since the law allows antitrust damages to be tripled, the check amount would be less than $3 million.

Google continues to deny that the damages are justified, but says that paying the government’s damages will eliminate the need for a jury to decide the damages issue.

While Google says it is unprecedented for a jury to decide a government antitrust lawsuit, Google has defended itself before a jury in antitrust lawsuits brought by private companies.

Last year, a jury in San Francisco ruled in favor of Epic Games, maker of the popular Fortnite game, in a case the company brought against Google over the Google Play Store, which allows Android phone users to download apps.

In this case, Google tried unsuccessfully at the last minute to switch the process from a jury trial to a jury trial.

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