Google must face most of Texas-led antitrust case, court says

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Google will have to face most of the Texas-led antitrust case over the tech giant’s ad dominance, a judge ruled Tuesday. 

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel ruled against Google’s motion to dismiss the case filed by 16 states and Puerto Rico, though he did toss one count alleging Google and Facebook colluded on an advertising agreement.

“Here, the court is absolutely right to reject Google’s attempt to throw out our case. We look forward to a jury hearing how this Big Tech giant abused its monopoly power by harming consumers to reap billions in monopoly profits. This is a major step in the right direction to make our free market truly free,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement. 

Google touted the judge’s decision to strike down the portion of the case aimed at the advertising deal with Meta, Facebook’s parent company. 

“Today’s decision underscores how AG Paxton’s case is deeply flawed,” Google said in a blog post. “As we’ve long said, advertising technology is a fiercely competitive industry — and our products increase choice for publishers, advertisers and consumers while enabling small businesses to affordably find new customers. We look forward to setting the record straight about the remaining claims.”

Texas and other states filed the lawsuit in December 2020, alleging Google has stifled competition in the advertising market. More states joined the case later that year. 

It is just one antitrust case the tech giant is facing. 

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser (D) filed a case against Google the same week as Paxton. The other multistate-led case takes aim at Google’s power in the search market, alleging the company has engaged in anticompetitive conduct. 

The Department of Justice sued Google over allegations of anticompetitive conduct in the search market, as well. 

Google had denied the allegations in those cases.

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