In a significant victory for the State of Texas, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation refused to pause its decision to return the antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google to federal court in Texas.
The lawsuit, which was filed by the Texas Attorney General, accuses Google of abusing its dominance in the advertisement technology process and claims the company’s illegal conduct has hurt website publishers financially.
According to Reuters, the State of Texas had requested to move the case in June 2021, citing a 2022 law that grants state attorneys general the right to choose where an antitrust lawsuit takes place.
Texas argued that the Eastern District, which has a reputation for being a ‘rocket docket’ due to quicker hearings and decisions, was the most appropriate venue for the lawsuit. The panel agreed and gave Texas attorneys seven days to appeal.
The search and advertising giant, which also makes a smartphone operating system and owns YouTube, faces several antitrust lawsuits around the world, all of which allege some form of abuse of dominance in one form or another. A spokesperson for Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google, has reiterated that the company “continues to deny any wrongdoing in how it runs its many businesses.”
Texas Attorney General, John Cornyn, expressed his delight at the ruling by saying, “This case is an important step in enforcing the antitrust laws in the digital marketplace and protecting fair competition and consumers.”
The decision by the U.S. Judicial panel to refuse to pause its decision is an important outcome for the State of Texas in its efforts to bring Google to justice over its antitrust violations. While it remains to be seen if and how Google will respond, this ruling proves that Texas is serious about protecting its citizens against antitrust abuses by powerful corporations.