A federal judge has scrapped Google’s effort to limit the video platform Rumble’s antitrust lawsuit, teeing up a major fight that focuses on the tech titan’s search and video products.
Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. denied Google’s efforts to diminish Rumble’s lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday. He said he could not find any precedent by the Supreme Court or relevant appellate court to support Google’s request to split up Rumble’s lawsuit.
Rumble says Google has an unlawful monopoly in the online video platform market through YouTube. Rumble argued that Google’s self-preferencing in search has allowed YouTube to maintain monopoly power over its competitors.
Google urged the judge to break the complaint into three parts focusing on Google’s alleged self-preferencing, its alleged tying of its YouTube app to other Google apps, and allegations of its unlawful domination of the search market. After doing so, Google wanted the judge to scrap the lawsuit’s allegations involving its apps and search dominance.
“Defendant does not cite, and the Court has been unable to find, any Supreme Court or Ninth Circuit authority ratifying this approach,” Judge Gilliam said in an order denying Google’s request.
The antitrust lawsuit is set for additional proceedings in the federal court later this month. Congress is also scrutinizing the issue of large tech companies self-preferencing their products on their own platforms.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, and Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, have agitated for a Senate floor vote this summer on the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. The bill aims to block large companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook from self-preferencing in a manner that harms competition.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the judge’s order.