Google faces third antitrust lawsuit as 30 US states plan action

WASHINGTON – Alphabet Inc’s Google, already facing lawsuits by the US Justice Department and attorneys general led by Texas, is expected to be sued for anticompetitive behaviour on Thursday (Dec 17) by another group of attorneys general, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Like the Justice Department complaint brought in October, this group of at least 36 state and territory attorneys general, which is bipartisan, will accuse Google of violating antitrust law to maintain its dominance of online search, one of the sources said.

The new lawsuit will allege that Google favoured its own products rather than presenting a neutral search result, disadvantaging rivals to such Google subsidiaries as YouTube, the sources said.

They added the complaint is expected to touch on how Google is using anti-competitive conduct to its market power in emerging product areas, such as home smart speakers as well as software for cars and TVs.

Texas’ lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday (Dec 16) and joined by nine other states, focuses on Google’s online advertising technology.

If successful, the series of actions could result in Google paying fines, out of businesses or restructuring its longstanding deals with partners.

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