An Ohio U.S. Senate candidate and attorney has signed onto a lawsuit in support of the state’s bid to regulate Google like a public utility.
JD Vance is part of the Claremont Institute, which filed an amicus brief supporting Attorney General Dave Yost’s June lawsuit against the Silicon Valley giant.
Vance announced the filing of the brief on one of his campaign’s Twitter accounts.
“The filing of the amicus brief follows Google’s motion to dismiss the case,” a statement attached to the tweet says. “Yost filed the lawsuit against the company in June. JD Vance and DJ Swearingen joined the Claremont Institute’s John C. Eastman and affiliated attorney Adam Candeub in its filing of the amicus brief, which opposes Google’s motion for dismissal.”
— JD Vance for U.S. Senate Press (@JDVancePress) September 15, 2021
“Great to work with the Claremont Institute to fight back against Google’s control of the public square,” Vance said on his personal Twitter page.
Great to work with the Claremont Institute to fight back against Google’s control of the public square. https://t.co/BkrAZlHTyl
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) September 15, 2021
The lawsuit, which was filed in a Delaware County Court and is the first of its kind, seeks to bar Google from alleged anti-competitive practices.
“Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products–that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost said when he filed the suit. “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.”
For example, Google can use its search function to direct users to Travelocity, which itself is owned by Google, when users search for flights, or use the search engine to make vacation plans.
The pretext for the lawsuit, however, goes a bit beyond those alleged anti-competitive practices.
Google has often been accused of censoring conservatives online, leading to an outcry among the political right for the company and its Silicon Valley counterparts like Facebook and Twitter to be regulated by the federal government.
When former President Donald J. Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and Google-owned YouTube even before he left office, a groundswell of conservative activists calling for regulation of Big Tech grew louder, leading to numerous lawsuits against those companies.
Google currently faces an antitrust lawsuit brought by 37 state attorneys general, and a class action lawsuit brought by Trump himself, which claims the company stripped him of his First Amendment rights.
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