Google asks judge to dismiss most of Texas antitrust lawsuit

Google (GOOGL.O), a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., urged a federal judge on Friday to dismiss the majority of an antitrust case launched by Texas and other states accusing the search engine of abusing its market dominance in online advertising.

The states failed to establish that Google illegally conspired with Facebook, now Meta (FB.O), to prevent “header bidding,” a mechanism that publishers devised to gain more money from advertising put on their websites, according to Google’s court brief. The lawsuit does not name Facebook as a defendant.

The states also claimed that Google manipulated ad auctions with at least three programs in order to force advertisers and publishers to adopt Google’s services.

Google responded that the states had a “collection of grievances” but no proof of wrongdoing. On some allegations, Google argued the states waited too long to file its lawsuit.

“They criticize Google for not designing its products to better suit its rivals’ needs and for making improvements to those products that leave its competitors too far behind. They see the ‘solution’ to Google’s success as holding Google back,” the company said in its filing.

Google requested that four of the six counts be dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the case could not be retried in the same court.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated that the struggle would continue. In a statement, he said, “The firm whose motto was formerly ‘Don’t Be Bad’ now invites the world to investigate their flagrant monopolistic abuses and see no evil, hear no evil, and utter no evil.”

 

Two additional allegations against Google in the Texas complaint stayed in September because they were based on state law. The search engine giant did not request their dismissal on Friday, but it may do so in the future.

 

The complaint is one in a series of antitrust investigations and lawsuits.