By Paresh Dave and Jonathan Stempel
OAKLAND, Calif./NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s antitrust case against Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google appears strong, but could face an uphill battle from a business-friendly judiciary that may question whether a free search engine beloved by consumers has actually left them worse off, several legal experts said.
Google was accused in the long-anticipated lawsuit filed on Tuesday of harming competition in internet search and search advertising through distribution agreements and other restrictions that put its search tool front and center whenever consumers browsed the web.
To win, the U.S. Department of Justice must prove that Google gained or maintained monopoly power through abusive conduct, or something beyond competition on the merits.
Several legal experts said Google’s alleged misconduct appears similar to allegations the government leveled in the 1990s against Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O>. That landmark case was settled in 2002, and a consent decree