The most popular search term on Bing, according to Google

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Photo: Tobias Schwarz (Getty Images) – On Tuesday, Google’s attorneys told EU judges that its overwhelming search dominance is attributable to user preference.

Google is finding it more difficult to pretend it isn’t the anticompetitive bully we all know it to be. As an example, the corporation contended in an EU court on Tuesday that it is… the most-searched-for word on Bing’s search engine as part of its ongoing effort to stave off the biggest antitrust penalties ever levied by the European Union. Yes, it’s true.

Google lawyer Alfonso Lamadrid told the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg, “We have provided data indicating that the most popular search query on Bing is by far Google.” Lamadrid went on to say that “people use Google because they choose to, not because they are compelled to,” according to Bloomberg, which originally reported Google’s claims.

If this argument seems similar, it’s because it’s virtually identical to the arguments made by Google CEO Sundar Pichai when European authorities initially slammed the internet giant with a $5 billion (€4.3 billion) fine—the biggest ever imposed by the European Union. Google allegedly exploited its Android market dominance in a variety of ways, including by integrating its main search engine with its mobile phone operating system, according to the EU complaint.

Pichai, on the other hand, had a different perspective. In a blog post headlined “Android has created more choice, not less,” he claimed that Android users could simply switch to another search engine if they preferred, say, Bing or Brave over the Google search engine that came preinstalled on their phone, just as Lamadrid did three years later.

Pichai said, “The fact that Google absorbs more than 90% of global search engine traffic is solely because its consumers picked Google over those competitors.”

At the end of the day, consumers frequently pick Google because… Google invested a significant amount of resources in dominating search in the early days of the internet. In the year 2000, it has already indexed more websites than any other search engine.

For example, in 2013, the company’s enormous network has indexed an estimated 30 trillion online pages. That quantity has risen to 130 trillion pages within three years. Since then, the numbers have only become higher. “If consumers are using a search engine with a smaller index, they aren’t necessarily going to receive the results they want,” Gigablast founder Matt Wells told The New York Times late last year. They then proceed to Google and remain there.” Finally, with Google being the default search engine on both Android and Apple operating systems, remaining on Google’s web is a whole lot simpler.

Over the previous two decades, Google has been acquiring competitors and facing patent tsunamis, and smaller search engines like Bing have struggled to compete. The situation is so ridiculous that we’re sitting here treating a Microsoft search engine like a plucky underdog.