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Google Lawsuit and
Multi-State Representation

The Lanier Law Firm is playing a leading role in the multi-state antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant Google. Google’s antitrust activities include deceptive and abusive practices that stifle the competition. If Google is allowed to cement its monopolistic position in the ad tech industry, businesses of all sizes will pay increasingly high prices to promote their products. These higher prices will be passed on to consumers. In this scenario, everyone loses except Google.

Google’s anticompetitive behavior in the ad tech industry allows the tech giant to earn an annual profit of $209.5 billion, which amounts to $17.5 billion every month. There is no other ad tech business that comes close to competing with Google, and Google uses its power to stifle competition from any company that threatens to compete.

Competition incentivizes companies to offer better prices, products, and services. When a company establishes a monopoly, innovation is halted, and consumers pay higher prices while being deprived of choices. Without viable competition, Google has complete control over all aspects of advertising on the internet.

Google Antitrust Lawsuit & Trial 2023 Updates

On September 12, 2023, opening statements in the trial began in one of the first antitrust cases against a major tech company in decades. Google argued that its market success is due to the product’s superiority and that users could easily switch to a different default search engine if they wanted to. The court also heard testimony from a DOJ expert that, in his research, it would take 10-12 steps to change the default search engine.

The DOJ also accused Google of hiding and destroying evidence indicating that they knew they were violating antitrust laws and maintained that Google understood the value in default status, as evidenced by yearly $10 billion payments to Apple to maintain this status.

On September 13, 2023, the court heard testimony from a former Google employee about helping negotiate deals with mobile phone carriers to ensure Google was the default search engine on mobile phones for a share of ad revenue.

November 16, 2023 – After weeks of testimony from key witnesses, such as Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the evidentiary phase of this trial wrapped up today. U.S. District Court Mehta, who is presiding over the nonjury trial, set closing arguments for early May 2024.

Texas Antitrust Lawsuit Updates

A trial date has been set for March 2025 by U.S. District Judge Sean Jordan, as per the order issued on January 2, 2024. The trial’s jury selection is scheduled to start from March 31, 2025.

In response to the order, our founder, Mark Lanier, representing the plaintiffs in the case, said, “We appreciate the court’s rigorous schedule and anticipate being ready for trial on the date given.”

Who is suing Google?

Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas initiated the antitrust lawsuit against Google in 2020. As of October 2022, 15 other states have joined the lawsuit, along with Puerto Rico and several private individuals. The other 15 states are:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Utah

The Lanier Law Firm’s Role in the Lawsuit

The Lanier Law Firm was hired by Attorney General Ken Paxton to represent the state of Texas as lead counsel. The Lanier Law Firm is also representing the following states:

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota

Litigation as complex and significant as an antitrust lawsuit against a major tech company requires constant collaboration between these states and all other parties that have joined the lawsuit. The Lanier Law Firm has the leadership experience necessary to coordinate communications seamlessly.

Justice statue

What are the allegations against Google?

The antitrust lawsuit against Google is a response to the following illegal practices:

  1. Google has gained dominance in the marketplace not through innovation but through the acquisition of would-be competitor companies and monopolistic practices.
  2. Google controls the buyer and seller side of advertising and operates the advertising exchange. This provides Google with inside information that gives it an unlawful advantage when advertising its own products.
  3. Google uses its power to manipulate online ad auctions and deceive customers.
  4. Google uses its power to prevent other advertising companies, publishers, and competitors of its other products from gaining a market share.
  5. Google stifles the development of new technology that might compete with its own.
  6. Google has entered into an illegal agreement with Facebook in violation of the Sherman Act, whereby Google provides Facebook with inside knowledge in exchange for Facebook’s agreement not to compete.

In a ruling issued on September 13, 2022, the court dismissed the claim that Google violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act in its agreement with Facebook, but the court denied Google’s motion to dismiss the remaining counts of the lawsuit.

Why did The Lanier Law Firm accept this case?

This is one of the largest litigations in U.S. history, and it is being closely monitored by governments worldwide. The foundation of The Lanier Law Firm’s practice is to stand up to large corporations that use their power and resources to harm the little guy.

Managing Attorney Alex Brown says, “Google has used its monopoly power to stifle competition that hurts not only mom-and-pop businesses and large companies but all of us — the consumer.”

Why is this case important?

Google’s monopolistic behavior has prevented competitors from providing alternative choices to consumers and gaining a market share. When competition is stifled, consumers lose. If this is allowed to continue, Google will become increasingly more powerful and less accountable over time.

Higher Advertising Costs

Google’s antitrust activities have left advertisers with only one avenue by which to inform customers about their products via internet advertising. Stifling the competition enables Google to charge advertisers high prices without losing its market share. Businesses have no choice but to pay higher prices. These added costs are passed down to consumers.

Unfair Advantages in Advertising

In addition to its famous search engine, Google — which created holding company Alphabet Inc. in 2015 — owns several other companies, including YouTube, Fitbit, and various products related to artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and more. Google advertises its own products on its platform. 

Google ads work on an auction system in which the highest bidder receives the most optimal ad placements. Google’s control over the advertising exchange, the buyer side, and the seller side of advertising allows Google to ensure its own products place the winning bid every time.

Who will benefit if this case is successful?

This litigation will benefit everyone: advertisers, publishers, consumers, and businesses trying to compete in a fair, open market against Google. When online businesses have more publishing and advertising options, they can better control their advertising budgets and pass their savings on to consumers.

Under the current system, Google wins and everyone else loses.

Why The Lanier Law Firm is Uniquely Qualified to Manage the Google Antitrust Litigation

Google has the resources to hire the most expensive lawyers money can buy. This type of case requires a law firm that is unafraid of taking cases to a jury and has the firepower to stand up to Google’s billions of dollars.

Experience Representing Government Entities

The Lanier Law Firm has significant experience representing government entities. Our law firm recently achieved historic verdicts on behalf of two Ohio counties against three major pharmacy chains in the ongoing battle against the opioid epidemic. 

Our law firm also successfully obtained a settlement on behalf of the state of Texas in an opioid case. We are currently involved in civil Medicaid cases involving false claims made by pharmaceutical companies. 

Our firm was honored with the Elite Trial Lawyers Award in 2022 in the area of governmental representation by American Lawyer Media.

Extensive Antitrust Experience

The Lanier Law Firm has a long history of successful litigation and settlements in antitrust cases, including a case against Becton Dickinson & Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of medical syringes and needles. This case was so noteworthy that it became the subject of a movie, in which Mark Lanier appeared in a cameo role as himself.

Experience in Key Leadership Roles in Large Cases

The Google antitrust case is being tried in multidistrict litigation. The Lanier Law Firm is widely recognized in the mass tort sphere, where multidistrict litigation is common. We have taken a leadership role in a number of large cases, including selection by federal judges to try bellwether cases. 

The U.S. District Court judge in the Google case appointed Mark Lanier to a key role on the plaintiff’s lead attorney’s committee. Mark Lanier’s depth of experience and credibility is expected to aid the courts as well as the prosecution of this case.

Our Trial Skills

At trial, The Lanier Law Firm knows how to take seemingly complex cases and subject matters and present them to juries in a way they can understand. Defendants know from the beginning of each case that The Lanier Law Firm handles cases with trials in mind.

Google is not expected to make any concessions in this case. With a monthly income as high as $17.5 billion, Google has every motivation to fight the case to trial and draw out the lawsuit as long as possible.

The Lanier Law Firm has the experience and skills to thwart these tactics and competently litigate against Google’s trial team.

Our Successful Track Record Against Large Companies

The Lanier Law Firm has obtained significant results against large corporations with vast resources, including the following:

  • $417 million verdict in a business fraud case against Amoco
  • $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson
  • $483 million verdict in a fraud case against one of the nation’s largest oil producers
  • A significant settlement against the world’s leading artificial sweetener distributor regarding false promotions against several sugar companies

Google is a massive company with vast resources, but it has used those resources to stifle competition and harm consumers. Although we are technically representing Texas and seven other states, in reality, we are fighting for small businesses, large businesses, and every individual consumer.

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