Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Thursday joined a bipartisan group of state attorneys general who filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging the search giant illegally maintains a monopoly that hurts consumers and advertisers.
At least 38 states, Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico have joined the suit, which claims Google sought to suppress competition by monopolizing the online search market.
Nearly 90% of internet searchers in the U.S. are done through Google, leaving consumers with few alternatives over the search engine’s unpopular privacy practices and data-collection policies.
Yost's press release about the suit reads:
The states allege that Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over general search engines and related advertising markets through a series of anticompetitive exclusionary contracts and conduct. As a result, Google has deprived consumers of competition that could lead to greater choice, innovation, and better privacy protections. Furthermore, Google has exploited its market position to accumulate and leverage data to the detriment of consumers.
"Exclusion and discrimination are by their nature anti-competitive," Yost said. "When you add those tactics to Google's dominance, you're stepping on the market, not competing in it."
The lawsuit is at least the third legal action against Google in the past two months as attorneys general and the Justice Department try to crack down on what they believe is an abuse of power that harms others businesses, innovation, and consumers.
Yost's release says the attorneys general are asking "the court to halt Google’s illegal conduct and restore a competitive marketplace. The states also seek to unwind any advantages that Google gained as a result of its anticompetitive conduct, including divestiture of assets as appropriate. Finally, the court is asked to provide any additional relief it determines appropriate, as well as reasonable fees and costs to the states."
Read more about the suit at ohioattorneygeneral.gov.