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Saturday, March 2, 2024

How the Google Antitrust Case Trickles Down Onto Your Phone

This week, the US Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against Google. It accuses the company of stifling competition and operating a near-monopoly on the search advertising industry. Naturally, Google disagrees with those charges. And so the stage has been set for the biggest antitrust battle in decades. It's a complicated case, one with tens of billions of dollars at stake, behind-the-scenes political machinations in play, and the future of how we navigate the internet in question.

On this episode of Gadget Lab, we talk with WIRED politics writer Gilad Edelman about the ins and outs of the DOJ's case against Google, and what it might mean for the future of web search, Android, and iOS.

Show Notes

Read Gilad’s story about the suit against Google here. Read Steven Levy’s story about how the DOJ’s case may lack teeth here.


Gilad recommends lemon wedges. (Yep.) Lauren recommends the book How to Be Successful without Hurting Men’s Feelings by Sarah Cooper. Mike recommends a book about Radiohead called This Isn't Happening by Steven Hyden.

Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.

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Michael Calore: Lauren.

Lauren Goode: Mike.

MC: Lauren, how many times a day would you say you use a Google product?

LG: It's just way too many to count. It could be anything from Googling whether I can make a recipe without the cornstarch that is required to, what's a normal blood oxygen level? Which is probably a fairly common search during these dark pandemic times. Google is everywhere.

MC: That's right. And that actually seems to be the point it is everywhere, and that's what we're going to talk about on today's show.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music]

MC: Hi everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I am Michael Calore, a senior editor at WIRED. I am joined remotely by my cohost WIRED senior writer, Lauren Goode.

LG: Hello.

MC: And we are also joined this week by WIRED's politics writer, Gilad Edelman.

Gilad Edelman: Calore! What's Goode, Lauren?

LG: I think you're the first person to come on the Gadget Lab and say that. That was pretty good.

GE: Thank you

MC: Today, we're going to talk about Google. This week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a legal complaint against Google accusing the company of being, "A monopoly gatekeeper for the internet." The DOJ says that Google dominates search on mobile devices in a web browsers and blocks its search rivals. It's the biggest antitrust case since the U.S. tried to break apart Microsoft in the 1990s. Later on in the show, we're going to talk about the complaints broader implications for users and how the outcome of the case could change the way that you search the internet in the future. But first, we need to understand the specifics of this case. Gilad, if you would please break down the DOJ's has complaint for us.

GE: OK, cool. This should only take seven hours. Just kidding. It's actually, as far as these legal documents go, the complaint that the DOJ filed in this case is quite straight forward. And one reason for that is that of all the cases it could have brought against Google. This one's actually pretty narrow. It's pretty focused. So maybe I'll start by just saying what it's not about. So this case is not about Google's dominance over all the different stages of online advertising.

It's not about Google's market share of cell phones with Android, truly about one thing. It's about Google Search and specifically the Department of Justice alleges that Google has engaged in illegally in anti-competitive scheme to maintain and expand its monopoly position in general search. So here's what the government argues. They say, it's basically, I describe it as three steps. Step one, Google pays Apple to be the default search engine on iPhones and on the Safari browser.

Google also requires phone manufacturers who want to run Android to set Google as the default search on their phones. And it also pays them a cut of its revenue for doing that. The government says that, that's significant because while Google argues that anybody's free to switch. As a practical matter, people are unlikely to actually change the defaults. OK. Now step two profits. So now Google with its dominant position in search entrenched via these exclusive deals, it has a monopoly on search advertising dollars, which means it makes a lot of money. It doesn't have to compete with any real other players. And so it makes tens of billions a year in search advertising revenue. Step three, give a cut of those big monopoly profits back to the Apples of the world, the phone manufacturers of the world, to keep that monopoly position locked in. Does that make sense?

MC: Yes.

LG: It does make sense. Why do you think it is that the DOJ has focused on this specific part of Google's business in this lawsuit, as opposed to… For example its Android dominance?

GE: I think the reason is that this is a pretty simple theory of antitrust violation to make out, to prove in court and to prove in the court of public opinion. That doesn't mean that the government's definitely going to win. And I don't think it even means that this is the actual strongest case you could make against this company that has dominant share of so many different businesses and has had so many different criticisms leveled at it. But I do think this is the simplest argument to explain.

MC: So what you just said it was intriguing to me because this is about the default search engine on browsers and on mobile devices. Now you can go into Chrome and Safari and change your default search engine very easily. You can also do that on Android phones, you can do it on iOS. So if that's something that is super easy for anybody to do with 30 seconds of free time, what does the government have to say about that and why that creates a dominant position?

GE: This gets to what I think is going to be the heart of this case. So the government says that look, sure people can switch, but just as a matter of fact, people generally don't. What that means is if you're one of the very small number of alternative search engines, mainly Bing and DuckDuckGo in the United States. The DuckDuckGo is tiny, but they're there, and then Bing has, I don't know, a 10 percent share of search, don't quote me on that. Those are the only two others in the United States that actually index the web themselves. There are other search engines that just licensed Google's results sidebar. So the government says, OK, sure, people can switch, but they generally don't. And what that means as a practical consequence is that if you're Bing, or if you're DuckDuckGo, you never even get a fair chance to present yourself to users as an option because most people just do stick with the default.

Most people don't think to themselves, maybe I should switch it up, maybe I should see what Bing's all about. And so given the reality of how people use technology, this deprives competitors of a fair shot. Now Google says exactly what you said, competition is just a click away, has long been their blanket slogan to defend against antitrust claims. And on the one hand, it's true. You can switch. But that raises a question. If being the default, doesn't provide a big advantage. What are they spending all this money on? They pay Apple billions, with a B, of dollars a year to be the default search on iPhones and Safari. So what is that money buying them if as they claim it's really no big deal to be the default.

LG: It's a really interesting question. Can either of you actually think of a competitor in search that has come close to Google's dominance in recent years?

MC: I think you have to go back 20 years, right? With the big search engines they were the five or six big ones. There was Lycos, AltaVista, Yahoo. Google came along and just did the one thing that none of them could do, which was provide search results much more quickly. And that just completely decimated everybody. And that's how they became dominant.

GE: Everybody admits including the government that Google, one in the beginning, by being the best. No one denies that Google built up its empire by just kicking ass at search. They're a very successful company and they've done a lot of really smart, really innovative, really awesome for consumers things. The government's position is that what happened next is the problem that once Google built up this dominant share of the market, that's when it started basically erecting these walls around its monopoly to keep competitors out.

MC: So, one of the things that the company said in that blog post that you talked about, the blog posts that they put up in response to the DOJ's complaint going up. Was that they do see significant competition from other places where people can search like on Amazon or on Yelp. And the company says that those apps are on people's phones and they can go to those websites and search there. And that Google does not have complete search dominance. Does that argument hold water at all?

GE: I don't think so, but you never know. So to back up a little bit, there's basically two parts of this case, there are two main questions that are going to be argued over in court. However far this case gets in court. The second one actually is the one that we've already talked about. Do these exclusive deals actually restrict competition in an unfair way? But the first question goes to what you were just getting at Calore, which is what is the market here? So I think to most people the idea that Google is competing in search with Yelp or Amazon or Priceline, seems a little weird because I think that the typical person thinks what Google's Search is a search engine and Amazon's a store. And Yelp is a place where I look for restaurants. This gets to a key issue in any antitrust case, which is how do you define the market?

If you define the market the way the government wants to, it's this thing called general search. You go to a site and you just kind of… It's sort of your starting point for anything you want to look for. If you define it that way, Google loses this question because obviously Google controls 90 plus percent share of the general search market. So Google wants to say, no, no, no, we're not competing just against Bing and DuckDuckGo, that's too narrow a lens. We're competing against anywhere where anybody might search for stuff. When someone's searching for sneakers, we don't want them to go to Amazon, we want them to go to Google. When someone's looking for a restaurant, we don't want them to go to Yelp, we want them to go to Google. If somebody's searching for planes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

LG: Right. And Google's acquisition patterns over the past several years would indicate that as well. So what they're saying, they're competing against a very specific verticals, whether it's restaurant reviews or travel, but Google bought Zagat, right? And Google bought ITA, and Google has created an experience where now when you go to Google in the search results, you often see a Google card of information that provides a snapshot of the information you're looking for. So you don't have to navigate to those other sites.

GE: Absolutely. And this is something that came up quite a bit in the recent house antitrust report about the four big tech platforms. There were a lot of internal documents that show that Google really saw vertical search as its biggest threat. Having already taken over general search, or I guess what you might call horizontal search. And those aggressive moves, those buying up all those vertical search companies that raises, I would say different antitrust concerns. And that brings us back to the point I made at the beginning of the show, which is there's lots of different antitrust issues people have raised with Google and the government has chosen to focus on a pretty narrow one. So, this question of, is it really fair for Google to also buy up a flight ticket aggregators so that it can try to put KAYAK out of business? I think that's a question for another day.

LG: I just want to say, by the way, for people who are listening, if you are working on some new search engine or you're working for one of the big companies, and you're working on a search engine, it's like a Skunkworks project, Mike and I would love to hear from you so you can find our emails easily online, just drop us a line. But I wanted to ask Gilad what this means for Apple, because as you mentioned, and as judiciary subcommittee report that was released earlier this month. It wasn't just Google. It was Amazon, Apple and Facebook as well, who were the target of these ongoing investigations. And it was suggested that Apple may be abusing its market dominance in certain areas, as this lawsuit shows Apple is actually relying quite heavily on Google's technology for search. So I'm just wondering what that means for the perception of Apple as a dominant market player.

GE: It doesn't help. I'm not sure if there's really going to be any legal significance here for Apple, I just don't know. The house report, we have to keep that really distinct from this DOJ lawsuit. The house report kept a really long investigation, and that wasn't about bringing any particular case. That was about doing a lot of research, figuring out what the problems are and making a lot of recommendations. Many of which were for new legislation, right? So Congress can pass a law to address problems. The Department of Justice can't pass a law. They can say, well, given the law that exists, here's what we think is already illegal.

So in the house report, they really focus when it came to Apple, on one thing, which is the way Apple uses its gatekeeper power over the App Store unfairly or allegedly unfairly. So the house investigation really took exception to the way Apple takes a hefty cut of all the payments that app developers receive, the way that if you don't basically agree to what Apple wants, you can just get denied access to iPhone users, which is an extinction event for an app developer, especially in the United States. Now the Apple tie-in in this DOJ case against Google, it's a little bit different, but it looks like is Google and Apple have a deal under which Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to be the search default.

I don't know, on its own, if that really raises any legal risk for Apple, but there was a line in the legal filing, the complaint that was pretty suggestive, where they quote an Apple employee or executive saying something like, we want it to be like we're operating as one company. It's illegal for companies to conspire to restrain trade. As the law, the very, very old antitrust law puts it. This is quite speculative, but I could imagine this arrangement also providing fodder for another claim that Apple and Google actually colluded to discriminate against Google's competitors. But again, this is not legal advice, WIRED listeners. I never took the bar exam, but that is my speculation.

MC: Well, thank you for sharing your knowledge, even if it is inferior to that of your peers.

GE: Ouch.

MC: All right. Well, let's take a quick break. And when we come back, we'll talk about how the outcome of this complaint could change the way that you search.


MC: So while it could take years for this to shake out, whatever the outcome is. The chances are that this complaint could alter if even only slightly, the way that we search for things on the internet. Gilad, I want to ask you, what is the most likely outcome that you've heard from the experts that you've talked to?

GE: I've mostly been talking to experts on the law as opposed to experts on search. And one reason for that is whatever happens in this case, it's a long way away. It's going to take months, at least for a judge to rule on any motion to dismiss the Google files. Then it could be a year or a year and a half of discovery. So strap in because this is going to be awhile. Having said that an antitrust case can produce results even before the case is actually concluded. So, one thing you can imagine here is the Department of Justice and Google entering some kind of settlement or consent decree where Google just agrees to stop striking these exclusive deals to be the search default. And if that happened, then when you got a new phone or installed a new browser, instead of just defaulting to Google, it presumably would prompt you to pick, it would offer you a menu of search options and that would give DuckDuckGo and Bing, and whoever else, an opportunity to get a toehold.

Now, a really interesting question in that scenario is how much would really change? Google is good. There are things about that have gotten worse than have gotten annoying. There's a lot more ads, it really steers you to stay on google.com and often the answer boxes are crappy because it's AI just pulling from some random articles and it should just be my articles, but having-

LG: Should all be WIRED articles.

GE: Yeah. Yeah. Well, sure. But mostly mine. You could definitely imagine people just being like, well, I still just prefer Google. So, it would be really interesting is how I'll put it. It would be really interesting to see what would happen. Now, are Google and the DOJ going to enter into some agreement where Google stops doing this voluntarily to make the case go away?

I don't see it happening. First of all, I think government wants something splashy here. I can't get inside their heads. Lord knows, but I think they want to achieve an outcome that's a little bigger, a little more robust than just Google not entering into these deals to be the default anymore. And then on Google side, I would be very surprised if they agreed to stop doing this. So, if they were willing to admit any fault, they say that they don't even need these, that people just choose Google because it's the best. So under their own logic, you would think it'd be the easiest thing in the world to just walk away from this. But as we discussed it's clearly worth enough to them to spend billions of dollars on it. So those two factors intention with each other.

LG: Your story also talks about preloaded apps. And while we've already covered that this is not about Android specifically. In your story, you write about how Google in exchange for providing the Android operating system to billions of devices around the world. And its search services often will require a manufacturer to have certain apps preloaded, unless they've completely forked the operating system. So while all of this is so hard to predict, what do you think this could potentially mean for the way that these tech giants handle preloaded apps on our devices?

GE: Yeah, that's a really good point, Lauren. It's not just about setting Google search as the default. There's this other part of what the government describes as a monopolization play, where if you want to run Android, Android is technically free. It's open source, but it's not really free in the sense that you have to agree to a bunch of conditions set by Google to license it, including pre-loading a bunch of Google apps. So for example, you can't even have the Google app store, if you don't go along with this list of requirements.

So you basically can't have a phone because you're either an iPhone, which is Apple, that's a closed universe or your Android. It's the only real viable non-Apple mobile operating system. So it's not really much of a choice to do this. And so a possible outcome of this case is that you could see… I'm getting out a little bit over my skis here in terms of my expertise, but you could potentially see phone makers having more freedom to customize what they offer and seeing a little bit more open competition in the mobile operating space and in the app space.

MC: So if somehow the government is able to ban Google from making these exclusive arrangements with Apple and with device makers, what is preventing Microsoft, for example, from swooping in to cut the exact same deals? And then all of our phones just run Bing, whenever we buy them.

GE: That's a good question out of two answers to that. First, it's really hard to imagine just on a practical level, if there were some kind of outcome where Google is prohibited from doing this, I think other companies would be wary from trying to establish the same entrenched position that Google just got prosecuted for. But the other issue is that whether this conduct is in violation of the antitrust laws, depends on your market share. Whether you have something in antitrust laws called market power, market power means you're so big that you can charge prices or extract demands or get favorable deals that you're not earning just by outcompeting. When you're so big that you can just three wait around and offer, take it or leave it deals or extract higher prices because you're the only shop in town.

So when it comes to Google and these search arrangements step one of the analysis is really important. The fact that Google has power in this market, that it has such a dominant share that when you combine that with these deals, it arguably locks out possible competitors. So that's a long windup to Bing doesn't have that monopoly share of the search market. So just in cut and dry antitrust terms, it would probably not raise the same legal concerns. However, it would just look really shitty, and I don't think that Microsoft would want to invite that headache.

LG: It would be quite ironic if 20 years later, Microsoft somehow becomes the solution to Google's antitrust problems.

GE: Well, the Microsoft connection is really fascinating here, and it comes up a lot in all of this stuff, including in the DOJ's complaint because this case looks a lot like the Microsoft case. Microsoft got in trouble for basically linking together it's Windows operating system with Internet Explorer. So if you wanted to be a computer that ran Windows, you had to have Internet Explorer and not Netscape Navigator, which was the biggest competitor at the time. And that was seen as an illegal tying arrangement. It was a way that Microsoft was trying to leverage its dominance in operating system to make sure that Internet Explorer may remain the dominant browser.

Google complained about that at the time, Google was one of the beneficiaries of the Microsoft antitrust suit. Google has the world's most popular browser today. It ain't Internet Explorer, it's Google Chrome. The government argues that these exclusive default deals are analogous to the Microsoft case. Especially you might say, when it comes to the Android phone manufacturers where it's like, Oh, you want to run Android? Huh? Well, you got to make sure that these apps are standard and default, right? That looks a lot like, Oh, you want to run Windows? What you have to make sure that Internet Explorer is the default browser.

LG: Would you say though, that back then our internet experiences, even though we were connected to the internet, they were more siloed. In the sense that we bought a PC, it was a Microsoft PC, you opened it and there was Internet Explorer and that was your internet browsing experience. Whether that was foisted upon you or forced upon you or not. But just for the sake of this argument. But now, Google's operating system, it's on these billions of Android mobile phones, it's on smart TV boxes. It's the underpinning for some of Amazon's hardware, right. Which has used forked versions of the Android OS, it's like mesh networks and wifi routers. And I know I'm getting a little bit far away from this core idea of search here, but it just feels as though it's actually more challenging these days to just know everything about the underpinnings of the technology that we use. But increasingly it just points back to these three or four key companies that are owning that experience.

GE: Yeah. That seems right to me. I actually thought you were going to go in a different direction though. So I agree that Google is ubiquitous in a way that goes way beyond just it being the dominant search platform, but where I thought you were going was it's easier to switch between Google and another search engine than it probably felt 20 years ago to switch between Internet Explorer and another browser.

LG: That's true.

GE: And so I do think that just on that score, Google probably feels pretty confident that this … I'm sure Google will say, this is nothing like the Microsoft case that was so much more locking users into a certain product. And here it's just … Gosh, it's just so darn easy to switch your search engine. I just don't see what the fuss is about. So they will claim and I should be clear that they might win. I've been leaning more on the argument against Google, but you got to remember these cases get decided by judges who really have for decades been drinking from the fountain of almost everything is OK. It's just really hard for the government to win an antitrust case under the current legal doctrine.

We saw just in the past year or so a federal judge, I can't remember the technical specifics, but basically overruled DOJ that was seeking to block a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. That merger took the number of national phone carriers from four to three. That seems pretty nuts and the judge was like, T-Mobile is the Un-carrier they're really innovative. And they say that acquiring Sprint is going to be good, so we should probably just let them do it. I'm exaggerating, but only a little bit. And that's what we're dealing with here. So if this case gets up to a judge like that, and Google says, your honor, it's really easy to switch the defaults. I could totally see that federal judge saying, you're right.

MC: Well, Gilad, this has been fascinating. Thank you for bringing us through all of the developments. We're going to take a break right now. And when we come back, we're going to do our recommendations.


MC: All right. Welcome back. Gilad, you are our guest. So you get to go first. What is your recommendation?

GE: All right. I think you're going to like this one, Calore. So-

LG: Wait, but I'm not? It's going to be a weird food combination. Isn't it?

GE: It's not a weird food combination, but it is food and beverage related. So slice up a lemon or two and keep the slices in a bag or a Tupperware in your fridge to have them on hand. Lemon slices are good, they're useful for a lot of things. It's annoying sometimes have to get a cutting board involved, when all you want is a squeeze of lemon in your beverage. This has become more important for me because especially in the pandemic, it's really hard to mark the transition from work to after work. And like a lot of people, I often just have alcohol to the signal to myself like, OK, I'm done working, have a drink. But I shouldn't have alcohol every day because of calories or calories in it. So sometimes instead I'll do a little Seltzer with ice and a slice of lemon to kick things up a notch.

It's not a beverage that I'm having during the workday, but you to make that work, you've got to have the lemon slices on hand because otherwise it's too annoying. Now you might be wondering why not limes? This is a little bit more provocative, but I've found that limes in my fridge tend to go brown pretty fast, whereas lemons will last forever. And the other thing that I've noticed is that they're quite interchangeable. A lot of languages don't even have separate word for lemon or lime, or if they do the word for lime is just green lemon. You can even put a slice of lemon in your beer, like a bland Mexican or American Pilsner and it serves the same purpose as lime. So that's my recommendation y'all.

MC: Are we talking wedges or rounds?

GE: Can I phone a friend? That's such a devastating question.

LG: I was thinking silver dollars.

GE: I tend to cut them in wedges because they're easier to squeeze. Rounds are pretty, but you can't really get the juice out, let alone fit it into a beer. So I'm going pretty thin wedges, but with enough of an arc size that you can get enough purchase on it to squeeze the juice out.

MC: Solid. Solid.

LG: My mind is blown for a couple of reasons right now. One is that I wasn't sure Gilad if you were eventually going to get back to the alcohol thread, you started out by saying it's not good to drink every day, but you ended on put lemon in your beer. So I'm impressed with the way you closed the narrative on that, but I'm also just thinking about how every week I sit here thinking I have to really think of something good and smart and relevant and intelligent to offer our audience. I stress about this every Thursday, what have I been reading or watching? And you just came on and just with a beautiful amount of eloquence and confidence said, "Sliced lemons."

GE: Yeah. I would argue that I invented citrus.

LG: Wow.

MC: Lauren, what did you invent this week?

LG: I'm proud to know Gilad.

GE: Well, you won a frickin' Emmy.

LG: I really am just going to put this in a drawer. So I-

GE: The listeners don't know this, but Lauren, just far enough behind her that it's tasteful and subtle, there is an Emmy on the mantle behind Lauren in her Zoom feed.

LG: There is an Emmy award. OK. But I feel like this is going to be a bit of a chaser and I didn't mean for it to be a chaser, but I'm holding up a book right now. That is, How to Be Successful without Hurting Men's Feelings. It's a book by Sarah Cooper who many of you may know who she is at this point. She is a comedian and she became very famous during this pandemic for her lip sync TikToks of the absurd things that Donald Trump says. And now she has her own Netflix special coming out sometime next week, I believe. And I'm really looking forward to seeing it. But a friend gave me this last weekend. She just bought a few copies and she was handing them out to her friends. And she said, I just thought people would enjoy this and I've started it. And it's a very, very funny book. And it's a very light and easy read.

There's a section where she talks about talking to other … OK, here it is. This is about getting interrupted. There's a big yellow banner that says threatening over it. And there's a woman saying, "Can I finish what I was saying?" to her two colleagues. And then there's, non-threatening next to it. Where everyone is just silent, there are no word bubbles. And then it says at the bottom as a caption. When you get interrupted, you might be tempted to just continue talking or even ask if you can finish what you were saying, this is treacherous territory. Instead, simply stop talking. The path of least resistance is silence. Obviously this is satirical. It's a funny little book and I recommend it this week.

MC: That's great. We all love Sarah Cooper.

LG: Also, with a slice of lemon. Mike, what is your recommendation this week?

MC: I am also recommending a book. I just started reading it two days ago. It's pretty new. It's a book about music and it's a book about Radiohead. It's called, This Isn't Happening: Radiohead's "Kid A" and the Beginning of the 21st Century. And it's written by a journalist, a music writer named Steven Hyden. He's also the co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, which is Rivals, which I've talked about on the show before. This is a book that is about Radiohead recording their album Kid A, which came out around 20 years ago.

It's also a book about how all of the technologies that have been bubbling up in the electronic music world and in the mainstream music world made their way into modern rock and roll and how Radiohead was largely responsible for their move from one genre into another. So it's a great book about music history, it's a great book about music technology, talks a lot about dance music and about the internet. And it of course talks a lot about Radiohead. So if you're a Radiohead fan is an absolute must read, if you are a modern musicologist, it is also a must read. So that's my recommendation. This isn't Happening: Radiohead's "Kid A" and the Beginning of the 21st Century by Steven Hyden.

LG: You guys are both musicians. Yes? Both Gilad and Michael. Gilad, you play some type of horn. Is that correct?

[MC laughs]

GE: I am a jazz saxophonist. I also play a bit of piano.

LG: Saxophone. OK. I knew that.

MC: Alto, tenor or baritone?

GE: Alto, which I really don't recommend. It's a cursed instrument.

LG: Well, and Michael plays guitar. So the next time that we do the Gadget Lab together, we're just going to have you guys play a song.

GE: Cool.

LG: I am not volunteering to sing. I'm just going to sit silently and enjoy.

GE: We'll give you a tambourine.

LG: That sounds good. I can do that.

MC: All right. Well that is our show for this week. Gilad, thank you again for joining us. It's always a pleasure to have you. And we're recording this on Thursday, so good luck covering the debate tonight.

GE: Oh, there's a debate?

MC: I recommend something very strong with ice and a slice of lemon.

GE: Good frigging idea.

MC: And of course thank you all for listening. If you have feedback, you can find all of us on Twitter. Just check the show notes. This show is produced by Boone Ashworth. We also want to say goodbye to our outgoing executive producer, Alex Kapelman. Bye Alex, we love you and we will miss you. And until next week, goodbye.

[Gadget Lab outro theme music]


LG: All right.

MC: You guys ready?

LG: Yes.

GE: Yep.

MC: Lauren.

LG: [Strained] Mike.

[Everyone laughs]

GE: Keep. That. In!

LG: Mike. Wait, do that once more.

[Audio fades out]

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