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US court sets first hearing on Google antitrust lawsuit

Washington: US District Judge Amit Mehta on Monday announced that the first pre-trial hearing on the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s antitrust lawsuit against search giant Google will be held on Friday.

The judge from the US District Court for the District of Columbia said lawyers for both the DOJ and Google must appear at the telephone hearing at 1400 hrs (GMT) and the hearing will be open to the public and media.

The DOJ filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on October 20, accusing the tech giant of maintaining its status as “gatekeeper” to the Internet by illegally using its muscle to prevent the rise of competitors.

The lawsuit alleged that the Alphabet Inc unit has spent billions of US dollars to smart phone manufacturers like Apple in making its search service the default in browsers.

Google has issued its public response to the lawsuit, calling it “deeply flawed” as users chose, instead of being forced, to use Google.

“People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives,” Google SVP of Global Affairs Kent Walker wrote in a blog post.

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