Ohio Lawsuit Determined to Declare Google as a Public Utility

Liz Fe Lifestyle


In the latest of the saga in Ohio against Google comes the lawsuit that demands the search engine giant’s programs be made public utility. Ohio’s attorney general Dave Yost filed an anti-completion lawsuit on Tuesday that demands the search engine be made public utility. While on paper this does not sound remotely significant, the reasoning behind this decision brings attention to how tech giants have characterized their software.

The lawsuit reports that Google steers Ohioans towards its own products rather than anything general – typing in “maps”, for example, offers a sole redirect towards the subservice Google Maps instead of perhaps another map that the searcher is looking for.

This pattern of service redirection exists on other platforms. Computers have long held their own calculators, making regular calculators nearly obsolete in the process. Typing things out is done on entirely brand-name document processors like Google Docs and Word when other options are vastly overlooked. The amount of power technology and website giants hold considering how often their services are used every day is downright enormous.

But it’s hard to see the companies holding real authority over their users – at least, that’s what Google stated regarding the lawsuit. In response to Yost Google wrote that the lawsuit would “worsen Google’s search results and make it harder for small businesses to connect with customers”, opting to defend themselves in court. They also argued that Ohioans “don’t want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company”.

Admittedly, though, these lawsuits overall echo the lives of monopolies past : the Rockefeller oil monopoly held similar power over their ubiquitous product being used everywhere. In the end, though, such lawsuits show that corporations will continue to evade law wherever necessary. It’s harder to argue who has more power, yet both sides of the lawsuit don’t show exactly how this power will be used.

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