Texas AG Paxton: Google Acts Like ‘Pitcher, Batter, and the Umpire’

Texas AG Paxton: Google Acts Like 'Pitcher, Batter, and the Umpire' ken paxton speaks at press conference Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 17 December 2020 01:28 PM

Google wields too much power and stifles competition, but all consumers must be treated fairly, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday, after his state, backed by nine others, sued the internet search giant on accusations of breaking antitrust law through how it runs its online advertising practices.

"They control well over 90% of the ad revenue on the internet," Paxton said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "They represent the buyer, make a fee off the buyer. They represent almost all sellers. They make a fee off of that, and then they represent the exchange. It would be like being in a baseball game and being like the pitcher, the batter, and the umpire."

The lawsuit, announced Wednesday, also accuses Google of entering into an unlawful agreement giving Facebook special privileges for agreeing not to use another search engine or aggregator, show host Steve Doocy pointed out

"We want consumers to be treated fairly," said Paxton. "We want businesses to be treated fairly. If one company controls the entire internet ad market that means we are all paying higher prices. You may not see it. Everybody says the internet is free. The internet is actually pretty expensive."

He added that at one time, Google's motto was "don't be evil," but it dropped that motto when it began to monopolize the market and come to secret agreements.

Google has responded that Paxton's claims do not have merit and that it has invested in services that help businesses and benefit consumers, but Paxton argued that there must be "some type of structural remedy" so Google has some competition.

The Department of Justice has also sued Google in a different case.