Google's $2.3 Million Check to DOJ Ends Antitrust Jury Trial, But Case Continues

Written on 06/10/2024
Taylor Bell

In an interesting development, Google will not have a jury trial in the antitrust lawsuit filed by the US government. Reuters reports that the search engine giant has paid back the full amount of damages sought by the Department of Justice in the lawsuit.

Google Pays Back Damages Seeked by Department of Justice to Avoid Jury Trial
The antitrust lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice and eight US states sought to break the search engine giant's alleged ad tech monopoly. The Department of Justice sought damages in the lawsuit and demanded a jury trial. However, Reuters reports that there will be no jury trial because Google has provided a copy of a check for $2.3 million. This would be enough to cover three times the damages sought by the government, including interest if necessary.

It is worth noting that the US government initially sought more than $100 million in damages in the case. However, the Department of Justice later asked for less than $1 million in damages, as it sought a jury trial.

Google is said to have paid the damages without admitting any liability or wrongdoing. The company said in a statement on Friday that the "trumped-up damages claim has collapsed," and the report added that the lawsuit is a "baseless attempt to pick winners and losers in a highly competitive industry."

A single-judge hearing is scheduled for September 9th. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, ruled in the case on Friday. She is currently scheduled for a single-judge trial without a jury on September 9th. Going forward, she will hear arguments from both parties in person and further decide the case.

For the uninitiated, the Department of Justice and a coalition of states filed a lawsuit against Google last year. The complaint alleges that the search engine giant is not only illegally monopolizing the digital advertising market and making excessive demands on users. The goal of the lawsuit is to put an end to the company's alleged dominance of the digital advertising business and allow for more competition.