A federal judge has rejected Google’s attempt to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit, ruling that plaintiffs have “adequately alleged” a claim under a key antitrust law.
Rumble, a video platform, sued Google in 2021, charging that the company violated the Sherman Act, an 1890 law that outlaws anti-competitive practices.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr., an Obama appointee, sided with Rumble.
“Without real dispute, Plaintiff has adequately alleged a Section 2 claim,” he said, referring to a section of the Sherman Act, violations of which involve two elements, according to a previous ruling in a separate case: “(1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and (2) the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident.”
Rumble said that Google has a monopoly over the online video platform market because YouTube, which it owns, controls 73 percent of online video activity. Rumble also said Google is not benefiting users or its business by designing search algorithms that rank YouTube links higher than those of competitors.
Gilliam said Google’s citations of two unpublished district court cases were unconvincing and denied its motion to dismiss. He also rejected a bid to strike paragraphs from Rumble’s complaint.
The case will now move forward, with a joint statement due from the parties by Aug. 23, and a status conference scheduled for Aug. 30. Rumble is seeking damages and an order that Google and its subsidiaries be blocked from illegal anticompetitive conduct.