AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that Texas is suing Google for engaging in anticompetitive and exclusionary practices that eliminate competition for internet searches and search advertising. Texas is joining the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) and the States of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and South Carolina in filing an antitrust suit challenging Google’s exclusionary business practices. Google’s illegal conduct has allowed it to dominate the search industry by requiring exclusivity from business partners and avoiding competition on the merits while shielding itself from competitors who might threaten its market share.
“Google’s anticompetitive business strategies have disrupted the competitive process, reduced consumer choice, and stifled innovation,” said Attorney General 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.”
The complaint explains that Google’s practices have harmed competition for search services and search advertising not only on mobile devices and personal computers but also on emerging search access points, such as voice assistants, smart speakers, automobiles, and Internet of Things devices. Google’s practices have harmed consumers by reducing choices in areas like privacy, data protection, and use of consumer data, ultimately diminishing the quality of search services. Google’s anticompetitive conduct has also given it the ability to increase advertisers’ costs and reduce the quality of its advertising services.
Read a copy of the filing here.