An unusual and significant court ruling entitles YouTube’s main competitor, Rumble, to obtain long-hidden internal documents on Google’s search engine manipulations.
A federal district court in California on Friday denied Google’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the Silicon Valley giant is violating federal antitrust laws by preventing fair competition against its YouTube video platform. The lawsuit against the search engine giant, which has owned YouTube since its 2006 purchase for $1.65 billion, was brought in early 2021 by Rumble, the free speech competitor to YouTube. Its central claim is that Google’s abuse of its monopolistic stranglehold on search engines to destroy all competitors to its various other platforms is illegal under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which makes it unlawful to “monopolize, or attempt to monopolize…any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.”
It is rare for antitrust suits against the four Big Tech corporate giants (Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon) to avoid early motions to dismiss. Friday’s decision against Google ensures that the suit now proceeds to the discovery stage, where Rumble will have the right to obtain from Google a broad and sweeping range of information about its practices, including internal documents on Google’s algorithmic manipulation of its search engine and the onerous requirements it imposes on companies dependent upon its infrastructure to all but force customers to use YouTube.
Founded in 2013, Rumble began experiencing explosive growth in the run-up to the 2020 election. Americans were encountering escalating and aggressive Big Tech censorship of political content as the election approached. Conservative politicians, followed by a wide range of heterodox voices on the right and left, began migrating by the millions away from Google’s YouTube to Rumble, which has promised and thus provided far more permissive free speech rights. That was at the time when Google and other Big Tech platforms — at the urging of the Democratic-controlled Congress, began aggressively increasing its censorship of political video content on YouTube on the grounds of “disinformation” and “hate speech…”
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