Ryan Baker Quoted by Bloomberg Law on DOJ’s Antitrust Case Against Google and Bench vs. Jury Trials

Partner Ryan Baker, speaking to Bloomberglaw.com on July 8, 2024, about Google’s payment of $2.3 million, the maximum statutory damages available, to avoid a jury trial in the DOJ’s antitrust case, said “it seems to me that [Google’s] worst-case scenario in front of a jury was a lot worse than a couple million dollars.”

Google satisfied the only jury claim in the case, which means the remaining claims will be tried before the judge. In antitrust cases involving complex economics and theories of harm, big companies often prefer a bench trial to facing a jury because of the nature of the relief involved.

In this high-stakes case, the Department of Justice is seeking an order breaking up Google’s multibillion-dollar ad business.

Baker, who has litigated against Google, said plaintiff lawyers prefer juries because of the chance “to tell your story to people and get a reaction.” Big technology companies, such as Google, often prefer court trials, conducted before a judge not a jury. “Generally speaking, judges are more predictable and present less risk than juries,” according to Baker.

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