A few hours ago, the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton announced that Google will pay $8 million in bargain funds to Texas. The company agreed to pay the funds to settle an issue in Texas. The claim is that Google posted a sham Pixel 4 mobile phone ad. The main reason for the fine is that Google lacks probity as an advertiser. Paxton claims that Google “hired a radio DJ to record and play detailed claims about their personal experiences with the Pixel 4“. However, the company “denied the DJ the phone to let them use”. In an older case, Google had to settle the FTC and six other states with about $9 million.
A Google company spokesperson previously said
“We take compliance with ad regulations seriously and have processes in place to ensure we comply with relevant regulations and industry standards. We are pleased that this issue has been resolved.”
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“If Google is going to advertise in Texas, their statements better be true,” Paxton said. He decided to take action to hold Google culpable for lying to Texans for its own gain. He also says that big brands should not count on “special treatment before the law”. “Texas will do all in its power to protect its citizens and state economy from false and evasive ads by brands,” Paxton said.
Google has older issues with Texas
This is not the first time Texas has clashed with Google. In 2020, Texas joined other states in suing Google. The lawsuit accuses Google of a monopoly in the internet search and ads services sector. This is illegal and against the law. The lawsuit is still ongoing, and this week Google filed a memo asking the court to deny states’ requests to review communications between some of its staff and their attorneys. In addition, in 2022, Texas sued Google, “accusing the tech company of illegally obtaining and using the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent.”