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Government & Politics

Ohio Files Lawsuit to Have Google's Search Engine Declared a Public Utility

a photo of Google headquarters sign
Marcio Jose Sanchez
/
AP
Google sign at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a landmark lawsuit today against Google.

Yost wants the company's search engine to be declared a public utility to restrain the ways it provides search results to Ohioans.

Yost alleges that Google uses its dominance to steer Ohioans to its own products, which he said is discriminatory and anti-competitive.

"Ohioans are harmed by Google because they cannot make the best choices if they don’t get all of the information," Yost said. "For example, if someone searches for a flight and Google returns its own presentation of search results to steer the person to Google Flights, the person doesn’t see offers from competitors such as Orbitz and Travelocity," he said.

Ohio is the first state in the country to sue in this matter. It is not seeking money damages.

This is the second anti-competition lawsuit filed by Yost against Google.

Last December, he joined 37 other attorneys general in a federal lawsuit against Google for conduct that violates Section 2 of the Sherman Act. It's a federal law aimed at curtailing groups of businesses that form a monopoly to try to reduce competition.

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