Why have Texas and fifteen other states filed lawsuits against Google CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin? Find out

Texas and other states have filed a lawsuit, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin are required to appear for questioning.

Published on Jun 26, 2024  |  09:25 PM IST |  49.7K
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

A U.S. judge has ruled that Google CEO Sundar Pichai and co-founder Sergey Brin will have to appear in person for questioning in the lawsuit filed by Texas and other states accusing the Alphabet subsidiary of abusing its dominance in the digital advertising market.

What is the lawsuit filed by Texas and the other fifteen states?

Brin and Pichai could not evade being deposed in the antitrust lawsuit, according to a ruling made on Friday by U.S. District Judge Sean Jordan in Sherman, Texas. The judge declared that the states have identified issues relevant to the issues in this case related to meetings, policies, and significant corporate acquisitions.

According to Texas and the other states, Google illegally monopolized important segments of the display ad industry, driving up prices for users. Additionally, the states charge Google with unfair business practices. 

Google's defense against the lawsuit

Google had challenged the planned depositions, claiming that Pichai and Brin—who is currently a board member of the internet giant—did not have any particular, pertinent personal information to divulge in connection with the states' complaint. The state claims have been refuted by the corporation. It is still attempting to get the 2020 case dismissed. Pichai's deposition was set at four hours, while Brin's will be restricted to two and a half hours.

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The states have referred to DoubleClick as "the leading provider of the ad server tools" that media publishers and other parties use to sell display advertising inventory. Texas and the other fifteen state plaintiffs in the digital ads action have stated that they wish to interview Brin over Google's 2008 acquisition of DoubleClick.

They wish to question Pichai over a 2018 agreement Google signed with Facebook, the social media network, regarding the advertising industry. In addition, despite previously expressing concerns about possibly lost evidence, they now wish to look into Google's internal communication retention procedures.

The states maintained that Brin and Pichai's burden from the depositions is entirely proportional to the stakes of this litigation. The trial is scheduled to take place in March 2025.

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