Texas Lawsuit: Google Engaged in False Advertising for Smartphones

Google boss Sundar Pichai is masked up ( Drew Angerer /Getty)
Drew Angerer /Getty

Google has reportedly been sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton over allegations that the tech giant asked local radio DJs to record endorsements for smartphones they had not used or even been given.

The Associated Press reports that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued Google earlier this week, claiming that the tech giant sked local radio DJs to record endorsements for Google’s Pixel 4 smartphone despite not providing the DJs with the phones or allowing them to use them.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on November 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to the controversial Texas abortion law which bans abortions after 6 weeks. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court on November 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sundar Pichai CEO of Google ( Carsten Koall /Getty)

The lawsuit was filed in Montgomery county. Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said that google engaged in false and misleading advertising practices in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act.

Google allegedly hired the radio station iHeartMedia in October 2019 to have its radio personalities record advertisements for the Pixel 4 smartphone. But the lawsuit alleges that when the advertisements were recorded, the phone hadn’t been released and none of the DJs had ever used them. The suit alleges that despite iHeartMedia warning google of the “violative nature of the advertisements,” if the DJs had not used the devices, Google refused to provide phone samples.

A Google spokesperson stated that: “We will review the complaint but the AG’s allegations appear to misrepresent what occurred here,” the spokesperson said.

Paxton previously sued Google in December 2020, alleging alongside a number of other states that Google was running a digital advertising monopoly alongside Facebook. Google called the claims in the lawsuit “meritless.”

According to court documents filed in the Texas antitrust lawsuit, Google for years operated a secret program that used data from pat bids in the company’s digital advertising exchange to give its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors.

The secret operation known as “Project Bernanke” was not disclosed to publishers who sold ads through Google’s ad-buying systems. The project generated hundred of millions of dollars in revenue for the company every year according to the documents.

In its lawsuit, Texas claims that the project gave Google an unfair competitive advantage over rivals. The document was filed this week as part of Google’s initial response to the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit that was filed in December and accused Google of running a digital-ad monopoly, harming both ad-industry competitors and publishers.

Read more at Associated Press here.

AP contributed to this story

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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