Google has been in the crosshairs of regulators all over the world. A group of State Attorneys General led by Texas AG Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the company for secretly partnering with Meta to bolster their ad businesses. Google has now filed a motion to dismiss the antitrust lawsuit initiated by a group of State AGs.
The company is requesting a federal court to dismiss four of the six charges of the lawsuit with prejudice. If granted, this would mean that the case cannot come back to the same court. Google’s stance was explained by its Director of Economic Policy, Adam Cohen.
“This lawsuit has now been rewritten three times. With each version, AG Paxton follows the same pattern: make inaccurate and inflammatory allegations, publicize them widely, and repeat. This playbook may generate attention, but it doesn’t make for a credible antitrust lawsuit,” Cohen said in the blog post (via Engadget).
Cohen further argued that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove some of the allegations leveled against the company.
Google claims the state AGs used outdated information to make their case
Cohen alleged that a bulk of AG Paxton’s lawsuit relies on outdated information. He added that this “bears no correlation to our current products or business in this dynamic industry (and in any event never amounted to a violation of antitrust laws).”
Expectedly, Google didn’t mince words in its filing, criticizing the lawsuit and the perceived motivations. “State Plaintiffs respond to Google’s success by seeking to compel Google to share with its competitors the fruits of its investments and innovation.”
“They see the ‘solution’ to Google’s success as holding Google back, rather than letting market forces urge its competitors forward,” the filing read.
This is an expected line of defense from the company, based on the experience of facing several such lawsuits. But since this antitrust lawsuit has the backing of several state AGs, it could cause some headaches for the company.
The allegations by the state AGs also list three programs that Google reportedly created to manipulate advertising auctions. States claim that Google did this to compel advertisers and publishers to use the company’s tools instead of alternatives.