Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that Texas is joining an antitrust lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and 10 other states against Google.
The complaint, filed in a Washington, D.C. federal court, alleges that Google has “unlawfully maintained its monopolies” in the markets for “general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising,” and requests the court to intervene in the company’s practices.
“Google’s anticompetitive business strategies have disrupted the competitive process, reduced consumer choice, and stifled innovation,” said Paxton. “The violations set forth in the complaint show that Google no longer resembles the innovative startup it was 20 years ago. Our action today is intended to restore competition and allow rivals and next generation search engines to challenge Google so that the marketplace, not a monopolist, will decide how search services and search ads are offered.”
Kent Walker, the senior vice president of global affairs at Google, responded to the DOJ’s lawsuit, calling it a “deeply flawed lawsuit that would do nothing to help consumers.”
Investigations from many state attorneys general into Google’s dominance in its industry have been ongoing for years, but the lawsuit filed today is the most significant public challenge to the company.
While Democratic attorneys general are reportedly planning another bipartisan suit against the tech giant, only Republican officials signed onto the DOJ’s complaint.
In addition to Texas, the states of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and South Carolina also joined today’s lawsuit.
The measure against Google comes as both Republicans and Democrats mount opposition to the growing influence of “Big Tech” — the leading information technology companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
Concerns about free speech and censorship have frequently been raised by politicians on the right, with Republicans criticizing Twitter for the censorship of a New York Post article damaging to the Biden campaign.
The DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit does not tread into the territory of free speech or censorship but instead focuses on the company’s allegedly monopolistic business practices.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.