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Ready to Rumble? Google Forced to Open Books in Rival’s Antitrust Suit

'Getting past the motion to dismiss stage is quite meaningful, and depending on what turns up in discovery Google could be in serious trouble... '

(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) Google’s attempt to browbeat a federal judge into an early dismissal of online video platform Rumble’s antitrust lawsuit against the search giant has failed, according to a report from Glenn Greenwald.

In a decision issued July 29, Judge Haywood Gilliam of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, allowed Rumble’s antitrust case against Google to proceed to the discovery phase.

“Google abuses its power as the dominant search engine and destroys free competition for online video platforms by manipulating its algorithms to prevent YouTube’s competitors, including Rumble, from being found by the public,” Greenwald wrote.

In a statement issued to Greenwald, Rumble welcomed the court’s decision.

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“We welcome the court’s decision, which is a significant step toward ending Google’s unlawful preferences for YouTube and helping to put creators first,” Rumble wrote. “We look forward to starting discovery.”

In its Jan. 11, 2021 complaint, Rumble accused Google of using its search engine to prevent people from discovering Rumble’s videos.

“Google [rigs] its search algorithms purposefully and unlawfully to always give preference to Google’s YouTube videosharing platform over Rumble (and other platforms) in Google search results,” Rumble’s lawyers wrote.

Rumble also argued that Google’s demand that Android-based smartphone manufacturers pre-install YouTube on their products unfairly harms Rumble’s platform.

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“Google has also forced Android-based smartphone manufacturers to include YouTube as a preinstalled app on their phones in order to acquire the right to use the Android operating system, which constitutes an illegal tying arrangement,” Rumble’s lawyers wrote.

Matt Stoller, Research Director for the American Economic Liberties Project, told Greenwald that Google is desperate to avoid a discovery phase that will open up the work of its algorithms to a competitor, and perhaps to the public.

“Getting past the motion to dismiss stage is quite meaningful, and depending on what turns up in discovery Google could be in serious trouble,” Stoller said.

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