☎️ Ohio wants to take Google back to the landline era
Decades ago, American states used to have faceless phone companies and electric companies, and the limited choices were tightly controlled by the government. Ohio wants to bring back that era -- but for Google.
Ohio AG Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against Google last week: He seeks to make Google what is known as a “common carrier” and cited a law that is over 100 years old (literally from the robber barons era). As a common carrier, Google would not be able to prioritize its own products in search, i.e. YouTube and Maps.
Yost even brought up railroad references: In announcing the lawsuit, he said, “When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.”
Google is not having it
A spokesperson told NBC search results would be worse for consumers if Ohio succeeded in its lawsuit.
One antitrust expert told the NYT Ohio would have a difficult time proving Google should be a common carrier. But as we know from the flurry of antitrust actions, the government may get more control over companies like Google one way or another.