Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a lawsuit asking a court to declare Google a public utility that should be regulated as such.
"Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products – that's discriminatory and anti-competitive," Yost said in a statement. "When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access."
Specifically, the lawsuit seeks a legal declaration that Google is a "common carrier," like phone, gas and electric companies, which must provide its services to anyone willing to pay its fee. In lieu of a fee, Yost argues in the complaint, Google collects user data that is monetized primarily by selling targeted advertisements.
Yost argues Google should therefore not be able to prioritize placement of its own products, services and websites on its search results pages.