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Google DOJ antitrust case probably not to go to trial until 2023

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The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google will likely not be going into trial until late 2023. Judge Amit Mehta set this trial date at a status hearing. The Justice Department’s historic lawsuit against Google is moving along very slowly. The news for both parties involved is that it’s more than two years away.

In a status hearing held, the Judge set a tentative trial date, underlining the relevance of one of the largest antitrust actions ever taken against any tech firm.

Both parties agreed to the timeline set by the judge for September 12, 2023, as a tentative date to start the trial.

The proposed timeline reveals how long the big firms like Google and Facebook fight the antitrust challenges from the US government. Google is now facing at least three lawsuits from different groups, and the cases may likely be produced before the same judge.

The DOJ filed the suit on October 20, accusing the company of using its market dominance in search and search advertising to take on competitors. The Justice Department’s lawsuit is focused on Google’s search and search advertising while the state case filed this week is on Google’s efforts to extend its dominance to devices like speakers, televisions and even smart cars.

The scrutiny of Google’s business is likely to remain in the spotlight for several years, and any changes possibly ordered by the court would also take a long time. In the short-term, there is no worry about immediate structural changes that could hurt the company’s value, such as spin-offs of key business units. However, Google will be facing a major distraction and could be unsure on entering new businesses and make big acquisitions, for a few years ahead.

The Judge had indicated at previous status hearings that he wants to keep the case moving along quickly. The new proposed timeframe shows that even a relatively fast process can take many years. A lawyer has estimated that the trial may likely last ten to 12 weeks, though Google’s lawyer said that he expects it would take much less time. The Judge has said that he was setting the over/under line at five and a half weeks.

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