Google requests dismissal of Ohio lawsuit, claiming its search engine is not a public service just because a lot of people use it

  • Google Research is not a public service just because it is popular, the company told a Ohio to research.
  • Ohio’s AG said in June that Google prioritizes its own products and needs to be regulated.
  • States “don’t have to dictate what information online they want people to see,” Google said.

Google on Friday asked for the dismissal of a trial brought in by the Ohio Attorney General, saying his search engine was not a public service just because it’s popular.

“To say, as Ohio does, that Google search is a ‘public service’ is to say that it is a business that Ohio could acquire, build, own or operate. ‘is absurd, “Google said in its file. “The state could not shoulder such a burden for countless reasons, not the least of which is that it does not have to dictate what information online it wants people to see.”

Ohio AG Dave yost in June for follow-up Google, saying the company’s search function should be regulated as a public service – just like water, electricity and transportation companies.

Google said Friday that the state’s request “has no more legal validity than a request to declare Fox News, the New York Times or Walmart a” public service “because most residents of a particular city prefer to obtain their new or the grocery store from them instead of someone else. ”

Yost had said the company acted anticompetitively by prioritizing its own products, like Google Flights, alongside organic search results. Competitive products should be offered as often as Google’s products, according to the lawsuit.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Tony Dejak / AP Photo

Google said its results were protected by the First Amendment because they were editorial decisions.

“The state cannot interfere with this protected expression, let alone try to control what Google should and should not include on its results page,” Google said.

The company’s argument was also technical. The mechanics of how Google search results ended up on an Ohioan’s computer were important, the company said. Google cannot be classified as a “common carrier” under Ohio law, in part because it does not carry anyone or anything. Internet service providers move data, the company said.

“Google search doesn’t send a commodity, but is constantly working to provide useful information in response to people’s unique queries,” the company said.

Insider has contacted Google and Yost’s office for comment.

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