Ohio AG Yost Sues Google

June 9, 2021 by Victoria Turner
Google's reach is broad, and now the internet giant wants to get into the financial services industry by offering consumers checking accounts. (Hakan Kacar/Dreamstime/TNS)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As Congress continues to grapple with whether high-speed internet should be considered essential infrastructure, as important as water and electricity, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost took an unprecedented step against Alphabet’s Google yesterday. In what the AG’s office statement describes as a “landmark lawsuit,” Yost wants the court to declare the online giant a public utility.  

Yost’s lawsuit filed in the Delaware County Court essentially alleges that Google is discriminating against other parties – competitors – by using its search engine dominance to prioritize its own products, lessening the choices for Ohioans. This is also one of the arguments in a multi-state suit against Google filed in December, which Yost is part of. 

The lawsuit seeks for Google to be legally declared a federally regulated common carrier or public utility. It does not ask for monetary damages or fines, but aims for an order for the equal treatment and rights of third parties and competitors across Google’s products, services and search engine results, without preferential treatment of its own. 

“Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products–that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said in the statement. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.”

To read the full text of the lawsuit, click here.

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