Ohio calls for Google to become a “public service”


The US state of Ohio has asked a court to classify Google as a “general service”, accusing the tech giant of “exploiting a dominant position” and “undermining competition”.
On Tuesday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost launched an unprecedented court process to subject Google to the same legislation that applies to public services.
“Google is using its dominant position in the field of Internet search engines to guide Ohioans to its products,” Yost said in a statement. This discriminates and undermines competition.”
“When you own railways, electricity networks or communication antennas, you have to treat users in the same way and make sure that everyone has access to the relevant service,” he added.
The attorney general gave an example of searching for an airline ticket, saying: “If the search leads a person to the “Google Flights” service, he will not see offers from competitors, including Orbitz and Travelocity.”
Google responded that these prosecutions had no legal basis, and confirmed its intention to defend itself in court.
A spokesman for the giant group said in response to questions by Agence France-Presse: “The quality of search engine results on Google will decline and it will be difficult for small companies to communicate with customers” in the event that the judiciary supports Dave Yost’s request.
“Ohioans absolutely don’t want the government to run Google as if it were a gas or electric company,” he added.
Ohio is among many US states that launched lawsuits against Google at the end of 2020 for violating the right to competition.
On Monday, the French competition authority fined Google 220 million euros for its practices in the online advertising market, demanding the group pledges to undertake reforms that would have reluctance on a global scale.


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