Google asked a federal court on Friday to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit led by the State of Texas, the first time it has sought to have one of the government competition cases against it thrown out in the United States.
In a filing, Google said the state had failed to show that it engaged in anticompetitive behavior and hadn’t proved that an agreement between Facebook and Google, a core part of the case, violated the law.
“We’re confident that this case is wrong on the facts and the law, and should be dismissed,” said Adam Cohen, the company’s director of economic policy.
The Texas lawsuit argues that Google has obtained and abused a monopoly over the labyrinthine set of systems that allow publishers to auction off ad space to marketers. The states argue that Google misled publishers and advertisers about the nature of the ad auctions, allowing it to pocket more of the money flowing through its ad systems. And they say the company used a deal with Facebook to maintain its dominance when the publishers tried to develop an alternative system.
“Despite amassing a lengthy collection of grievances, each one comes down to a plea for Google to share its data or to design its products in ways that would help its rivals,” Google said in its filing.
Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, said in a statement: “Google’s motion attributes their monopoly status to pure success on the merits. 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.”
Google faces pressure from governments around the world. In addition to the lawsuit from Texas and more than a dozen other states, the federal government and a different group of states have sued the company, arguing it has abused a monopoly over online search. On Thursday, a Senate committee endorsed an antitrust law meant to crack down on some of its practices — along with Amazon’s and Apple’s — and European lawmakers in Brussels are considering their own new digital antitrust rules.
Google is also not the first tech giant to try to get a recent government antitrust case dismissed. Last year, Facebook asked a federal court to throw out lawsuits filed against it by the Federal Trade Commission and a collection of states. The judge in the case initially agreed. But the F.T.C. refiled its lawsuit, and the judge said this month that it could move forward. The states have appealed.