Ascolta la versione audio dell’articolo5′ di letturaThe US government’s antitrust case on Google, which kicked off on Tuesday, is poised to have a profound impact on the behavior and operations of dominant firms in the United States, according to competition expert William Kovacic, who chaired the Federal Trade Commission from 2008 to 2009, following a tenure as its General Counsel from 2001 to 2004.Kovacic, who has served as a Non-Executive Director with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority since 2013, and now leads the prestigious Competition Law Center at George Washington University, sees this case as a watershed moment. This is by far the most relevant case since the antitrust Microsoft case as it will outline the “acceptable forms of conduct” for dominant firms, he said.Loading…Here, the expert discusses Google’s strengths and weaknesses in the ongoing antitrust trial, offers insights into how it’s gone so far, and speculates on the potential trajectory of the tech giant’s future.What’s Google’s strength in this case? In general terms, Google has one major advantage and that’s that the jurisprudence in the US governing dominant firms is relatively permissive. It’s relatively tolerant in giving dominant firms broad freedom to choose marketing, and other practices of their own preference. So jurisprudence is generally favorable to them.But the danger here is that the jurisprudence is not completely favorable and the Microsoft case establishes the foundation for the government’s case in this matter. The Microsoft case said that a dominant firm cannot take certain measures to deny rivals an opportunity to obtain inputs that they need to survive, including distribution, so that if you are paying the key inputs (such as the producers of smartphones) simply for the purpose of excluding a rival from this very precious part of the information systems economy that can be treated as an abuse of dominance.