Ohio Attorney General Can Proceed With Claim That Google Search Is A 'Common Carrier'

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A state court judge in Ohio is allowing Attorney General David Yost to proceed with an effort to prohibit Google from prioritizing its services or products in search results. In a ruling issued May 24, Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge James Schuck declined to dismiss Yost's claim that Google's search engine is a “common carrier.” “The court believes, at this stage of the proceeding, that the state should have the ability to take discovery, develop its case, and present evidence to support its claim,” Schuck wrote. The decision comes one day after a federal appellate panel said in a separate case that social media platforms are not common carriers. Schuck's ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by Yost in June 2021, when he alleged that Google should be considered both a “common carrier” and a “public utility” -- comparable to a gas or electric company -- because it dominates the online search market. Last August, Google urged Schuck to dismiss the complaint at an early stage, arguing that even if the company dominates search, as Yost alleged, that fact wouldn't prove the claims in his lawsuit.

Ohio AG Can Proceed With Claim That Google Search Is A 'Common Carrier'