(Bloomberg) -- A Verizon Communications Inc. executive told a judge that when the company recently renegotiated Google’s deal to be the default search engine for customers’ mobile phones, the telecom carrier didn’t bother seeking out alternatives offered by Microsoft Corp. or DuckDuckGo.

“I’m not aware of us soliciting bids,” Verizon’s Brian Higgins said Monday during an antitrust trial in Washington to determine if Alphabet Inc.’s Google maintains a monopoly in the online search business. He didn’t say why Verizon failed to seek competing offers.

Higgins, who negotiated Verizon’s contract with Google over Android mobile phones from 2017 until July of this year, was a witness for the US Justice Department, which claims Google has paid more than $10 billion a year to tech rivals, smartphone makers and wireless providers to be the preselected option, or default, on mobile phones and web browsers. 

The antitrust trial before US District Judge Amit Mehta began last week and is expected to last into November. If the judge rules at the end of the trial that Google violated the law, he might seek a second proceeding to consider options for remedy, including breaking up the company.

Google says it has won market share because it has the best search engine. But statements by Higgins appeared to undermine a key Google defense — that it won exclusive contracts to offer its search engine fairly. Verizon’s decision not to bid its most recent contract stands in sharp contrast to previous years, when Microsoft and Google competed to provide the search engine default.

Verizon, the largest US carrier, signed with Microsoft in 2010 to make Bing as the default search engine on Android smartphones sold in the US. For example, the Samsung Fascinate — one of the first in Samsung’s popular Galaxy S line — featured Bing, not Google, according to John Schmidtlein, a lawyer for Google. 

Within a year, Verizon switched, agreeing in 2011 to pre-install Google’s search engine on all Android devices sold in the US in exchange for a 40% share of ad revenue from searches made via the devices, according to documents from a 2012 federal antitrust investigation. That Verizon-Google agreement lasted through July 2014, when it was renegotiated.

Higgins, who served as Verizon’s senior vice president of device and consumer product marketing, said Monday the agreement was renegotiated again during his time with the telecom giant. He said he wasn’t aware of negative reviews in 2010 related to Verizon’s choice of Bing on the phone. 

Most of the testimony by Higgins on Monday wasn’t public because it involved details of Google’s current contract that the company wanted to keep private. Higgins testified for about three hours.

The court Monday also began to hear testimony from Jerry Dischler, a Google vice president who supervises advertising products.

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