Tech

Google moves to dismiss Texas antitrust lawsuit

The tech giant says the complaint fails to offer "plausible antitrust claims."

Google fires back at the Texas Attorney General's lawsuit.
Claudia Cruz/CNET

Google on Friday filed a motion to dismiss a multistate antitrust lawsuit led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The lawsuit, which accuses Google of reaching an illegal deal with online ad rival Facebook, fails to show the search giant "engaged in anticompetitive conduct," the company said. 

"AG Paxton's allegations are more heat than light, and we don't believe they meet the legal standard to send this case to trial," Adam Cohen, director of economic policy for Google, said in a blog post Friday. "The complaint misrepresents our business, products and motives, and we are moving to dismiss it based on its failure to offer plausible antitrust claims."

An unredacted version of the lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2020, alleges that both Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed off on an illegal agreement that would allegedly give the social network an advantage in the search giant's online advertising auctions. Facebook, now under parent company Meta, isn't a defendant in the case. 

Cohen said Google's deal with Facebook wasn't anticompetitive, adding that the social network was one of several partners announced back in 2018 that participate its ad bidding program.

Paxton said Google's motion on Friday asks people to overlook "egregious" monopoly abuses. 

"The company whose motto was once 'Don't Be Evil' now asks the world to examine their egregious monopoly abuses and see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil," Paxton said in an emailed statement.