Insider Today: Big Tech goes on trial

Insider Today: Big Tech goes on trial
CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai.Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Hiya! Getting old is relating to this grandmother who swallowed an AirPod instead of her vitamins while she was distracted.

    Speaking of Big Tech, it's a big day for the industry as the DOJ's antitrust trial against Google starts today. More in today's big story about the massive implications of the case.

    What's on deck:

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    But first, we're going to trial.

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    Insider Today: Big Tech goes on trial
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    The big story

    "Google it."

    The phrase has become shorthand for looking something up on the internet, and it's no surprise why. Google is the default search engine almost everywhere you look, from your phone to computers or tablets.

    Even if you don't start your search at the tech giant's website, there's a good chance you'll eventually get redirected there.


    And it's no coincidence that's the case. Google has spent billions of dollars ensuring it's the go-to search engine.

    It's also a strategy the Department of Justice argues is "anticompetitive and exclusionary" in a landmark trial for Big Tech kicking off today.

    Insider's Hugh Langley, our resident Google expert, details what's at stake in the antitrust case between the DOJ and Google. The trial is the biggest to hit the tech industry since the government sued Microsoft in the late 1990s.

    Back then, the DOJ alleged Microsoft was forcing PC manufacturers to make its Internet Explorer the default browser on their computers, thereby stifling competition.

    Starting today, the DOJ will argue Google squashed its competition by paying Apple and others to be the default search provider, all while deterring users from rival services.


    Google argues, among other things, that it's not illegal to be a strong product everyone likes.

    "People don't use Google because they have to — they use it because they want to," Google's president of global affairs, Kent Walker, told Hugh in a statement.

    Walker also pointed to how much has changed in the almost three years since this case was first filed, including the rise of AI, which represents more competition for Google.

    The knock-on effects of this case go beyond just Google, though.

    Apple executives, for example, could be called to testify during the trial, something it fought hard against.


    More broadly, the case is a bellwether for how the government could argue future cases against Big Tech companies in the modern era.

    The Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon this year in a case that argues the tech giant lured unwitting customers into Prime subscriptions that were difficult to cancel. The suit is a result of an Insider investigation in early 2022.

    And a trial for the FTC's antitrust case against Meta over its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp is currently in the discovery phase.

    Each case is unique, but their focus on monopolistic behavior means the Google trial could set precedents followed by both sides.

    Read the full story here.


    3 things in markets

    Insider Today: Big Tech goes on trial
    Chelsea Jia Feng/Insider
    • How the US dollar took over the world. An excerpt from Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman's new book, "Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy," details former Citicorp CEO and chairman Walter Wriston's plan for creating a private global payments system.
    • Deutsche Bank's AI plans include hundreds of new hires and dozens of pilots. Gil Perez, the bank's chief innovation officer, said the German lender wants to at least double its AI employee base of about 300 in the next 12 months. But challenges, including determining the tech's ROI, remain.
    • Jamie Dimon has some concerns about the economy. The CEO of JPMorgan doesn't think we should mistake current economic strength for a "booming environment for years." Dimon said he's "on heightened edge of caution."

    3 things in tech

    Insider Today: Big Tech goes on trial
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures toward a CybertruckPhoto by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images
    • Some Tesla engineers "hated" the original Cybertruck design. According to the new Elon Musk biography, the engineers secretly started designing an alternative. "They were like, 'You can't be serious.' They didn't want to have anything to do with it. It was just too weird," the design chief Franz von Holzhausen told Musk biographer Walter Isaacson.
    • Meta is reportedly building an AI model that's as powerful as GPT-4. It's expected to be much faster than Meta's recently released Llama 2 model, per the Wall Street Journal. This gauntlet highlights how the AI race is heating up.
    • Microsoft employees can exceed expectations but still fall short of an "exceptional" rating. "Microsoft has an ambitious mission, and our customers and partners have high expectations for us that increase every year," the internal guideline states.

    3 things in business


    Insider Today: Big Tech goes on trial
    Workers have become increasingly concerned that technology may take their jobs, a new Gallup poll suggests.Yossakorn Kaewwannarat/Getty
    • One in five college-educated workers worry that AI will replace their jobs. This is a 7% increase compared to when the survey was conducted in 2021. The most concerned groups were young, college-educated people who make under $100,000 per year.
    • Customer data, transactions, financials: Investors are demanding to see numbers to back up startup pitches. Startup founders said VCs are increasingly demanding detailed data about their companies before considering a deal.
    • Two under-the-radar methods companies are using to track how full offices are. As companies push for in-person work, they're also starting to track attendance. Some, for example, are using sensors that can track when someone is sitting at their desk or in conference rooms.

    In other news

    What's happening today

    • The MTV Video Music Awards are tonight, hosted by Nicki Minaj. For the first time in the 40 years that the VMAs have been held, all the artist of the year nominees are women: Doja Cat, Shakira, Beyoncé, Karol G, and Nicki Minaj.
    • Apple product launch. It's expected to announce a range of products, including a series of new iPhones.
    • The Davis Cup Finals kick off today. The men's group tennis tournament pits 16 teams — each representing a different country — against each other. Team US consists of Frances Tiafoe, Austin Krajicek, Mackenzie McDonald, Tommy Paul, and Rajeev Ram.
    • "Guinness World Records 2024" comes out today. It's the 67th edition of the records and will feature new and updated achievements.

    Insider Today: Big Tech goes on trial
    Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

    For your bookmarks


    "I've taken the Amtrak Auto Train, where you take your car with you, over a dozen times." You can bring as much stuff as you can squeeze into your vehicle.

    The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.