Texas is leading a 10-state lawsuit against the internet giant Google, accusing the company of anti-competitive conduct in advertising.
In a ruling video posted on social media on Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Ken Paxton – who is fighting to get back to nadir in his political career – announced that Texas and nine other provinces are challenging Google’s advertising campaigns, which he calls anti-competitive.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Texas, alleges that Google is “using its powerful position on all sides of the online display market to outlaw the competition.”
“It’s not fair for Google to successfully remove its competition and crown itself as the head of online advertising,” Paxton said in the video. “Let me put it this way: If the free market was a baseball game, Google would position itself as a pitcher, a batter and a referee.”
Google uses its position over the online advertising market to levy “taxes” on websites that rely on revenue sales, the lawsuit said. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
They cited a warning from the U.S. Supreme Court. “As far as the seriousness of dishonesty is concerned,” a lawsuit was filed in their court, stating that “this case will set the record straight by Google, and it seeks to ensure that Google does not become a victim.”
The case has been pending since the independent legal aid government last year announced an investigation into Google and Facebook’s technology resources.
And it comes on the heels of another major government lawsuit against Facebook, which Texas joined but did not pay, with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the company was abusing its market power to end competition. Texas also joined the U.S. Department of Justice case. A lawsuit filed by Google alleging that the company violated anti-trust laws.
The Texas case, unlike other previous technical cases, involves only Republican lawyers in general.
A technology official has vowed to fight the case, a Google spokesman said, “Attorney General Paxton’s advertising claims are baseless, but he has persisted despite all the facts.”
“We will strongly defend ourselves from his baseless claims in court,” the spokesperson added.
The Team Leading The Suit
Taken together, the latest court case represents a new, more widespread crackdown on corporations that has seemed unaffordable for years. TTexas is positioning itself among the front of the pack of states, a suitable role given the state’s comparatively large size and greater legal firepower, and its leaders’ affection for the limelight.
Texas’s attorney general’s office employs about 4,000 people, including about 800 lawyers, making it one of the largest offices in the country.
Texas has also hired foreign attorneys from Houston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. to lead the case. A spokesman for the organization did not respond to questions about how much they would be paid.
The troubled Texas attorney general’s office has suffered in the past two months as Paxton, its leader, faces new criminal allegations, reported FBI investigations and a major scandal that has cost his political allies and many of his hand-picked staff. The organization has attacked its top executives following new charges against Paxton, who since 2015 has been under state security fraud. One of the top aides who left this fall was leading a Google search of the organization.
In late September and October, Paxton’s eight top aides told authorities they believed he had broken the law by using agency resources to achieve the goals of a political donor. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Since recording the allegations, five whistleblowers have been fired and three have resigned. The four are currently suing Paxton for retaliation including an unfair dismissal.
Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is battling his legal issues, announced the much-anticipated federal case in a video posted on social media. The other nine provinces with ordinary Republican lawyers are also plaintiffs in the case.
Paxton dismissed their allegations as “false,” including in court this week in a case that could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, and denied whistleblowers “as corrupt workers.”