Google faces third antitrust lawsuit as 30 U.S. states plan action - source

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google, already facing lawsuits by the U.S. Justice Department and attorneys general led by Texas, is expected to be sued for anticompetitive behavior on Thursday by another group of attorneys general, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Like the Justice Department complaint brought in October, this group of at least 36 state and territory attorneys general, which is bipartisan, will accuse Google of violating antitrust law to maintain its dominance of online search, one of the sources said.

The new lawsuit will allege that Google favored its own products rather than presenting a neutral search result, disadvantaging rivals to such Google subsidiaries as YouTube, the sources said.

They added the complaint is expected to touch on how Google is using anticompetitive conduct to grow its market power in emerging product areas, such as home smart speakers as well as software for cars and TVs.

Texas’ lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday and joined by nine other states, focuses on Google’s online advertising technology.

If successful, the series of actions could result in Google paying fines, dropping out of businesses or restructuring its longstanding deals with partners.

Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington; Additional reporting by Paresh Dave in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Christopher Cushing