Google Asks a Judge to Dismiss Texas Antitrust Lawsuit about its Ad Business

Google Asks a Judge to Dismiss Texas Antitrust Lawsuit about its Ad Business

Google asked a federal judge on Friday to dismiss most of the claims in an antitrust case brought by the state of Texas. The corporation stated in the filing that the Texas case is not “credible,” and that the state has not proven that the company’s ad business has broken antitrust laws. In a blog post, Google Director of Economic Policy Adam Cohen wrote, “AG Paxton’s accusations are more heat than light, and we don’t believe they meet the legal bar to carry this matter to trial.” 

“The complaint misrepresents our company, products, and motives, and we want to dismiss it because it lacks valid antitrust arguments.” In late 2020, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit alleging that Google illegally maintained a monopoly in online advertising. Last Monday, Texas filed a new complaint, which was originally submitted in November but redacted at the time before a judge ordered the case’s information to make public.

Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico have all joined the lawsuit. Paxton “overlooks, or misstates, a litany of clear facts,” according to Google, including charges that the firm forged an agreement with Facebook to protect its online ad supremacy by crushing a new ad-buying procedure known as “header bidding.”

According to The New York Times, Facebook announced the partnership in 2018 but failed to mention that Google provided its competitor with “special information and speed advantages to help the company succeed in the auctions that it did not offer to other partners — even including a guaranteed ‘win rate.'”Meta, which is dealing with its own antitrust issues, urged the court to dismiss an antitrust action that might force it to sell Instagram and WhatsApp, but a judge ruled earlier this month that the FTC’s re-filed suit will be allowed to move forward.

On Wednesday, a consortium of 37 state attorneys general launched a second big multi-state antitrust case against Google, accusing the corporation of abusing its market power to restrict competitors and forcing users to pay for in-app purchases that give the business a large percentage. The litigation being co-led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, as well as the attorneys general of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Utah. 

California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, are part of the bipartisan alliance. In a news release, James stated, “Through its illegal activity, the business has insured that hundreds of millions of Android users resort to Google, and only Google, for the millions of programs they may choose to download to their phones and tablets.” “Worse yet, Google is sucking the life out of millions of tiny firms who are simply trying to compete.”