States have asked the court to force the company to sell pieces of its business in order to seize power to control such auctions. But there are other allegations that could have further undermined Google.
Texas also accuses Google of violating state laws that prohibit unfair or deceptive business practices – laws that impose severe fines for each violation. It is the general plan of lawyers to argue that every online effort allegedly handled by Google violates state laws, which could lead to the imposition of fines.
Joe Cruise, who worked in the Texas Attorney General’s office in the 1990s, now owns his own company in Austin, saying “the potential for this case is in the trillions of dollars.” “This is something they need to focus on, they need to do resources. Even if Google wins in the end, it’s going to cost them a ton of money.”
A Google spokesman declined to comment The potential fine was called “ineligible”, citing the company’s statement when the lawsuit was filed.
In the past, states have used these laws to force large corporations to pay large sums. Last month, Apple has agreed to pay $ 113 million For 34 states to slow down the batteries on older iPhones. Credit reporting agency Equifox paid states $ 5 175 million as part of its 2017 data breach resolution.
In Europe, Google has already paid more than $ 9 billion in fines for violating competition rules. But those penalties Failures that do not cause any long-term changes are widely considered For Google’s behavior. People close to the lawsuit said a fine of more than $ 160 billion in Google’s annual revenue could have a major deterrent.
Desperate experts say Google is unlikely to pull out trillions of dollars, but state officials are likely to use the opportunity in negotiations to force the search company to break up.
“This is a huge number, but no one reasonably expects the final number to be what the damages will be,” said a person close to the trial, who did not have the authority to speak on the record.
Based on his experience, Cruise said the Texas attorney general designed the case to give foreign exchange to the states over Google and ultimately change the company’s behavior.
As another lawyer close to the trial said of Google’s possible liability: “They are in a wounded world.”