On May 14th, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that Google has agreed to pay $8 million in settlement funds to Texas for posting deceptive Pixel 4 smartphone ads.
This comes after Google hired a radio DJ to record detailed testimonials about their personal experiences with the Pixel 4, but denied the DJ the phone to let them use.
Paxton said that Google’s integrity as an advertiser was called into question and that big companies shouldn’t count on special treatment before the law. Previously, Google had reached a settlement of about $9 million with the FTC and six other states.
A Google company spokesperson previously said that they take compliance with advertising regulations seriously and are pleased that this issue has been resolved. Paxton said,
“If Google is going to advertise in Texas, their statements better be true,”
and that Texas will do everything in its power to protect its citizens and state economy from false and misleading advertising by companies.
It’s not the first time Texas has clashed with Google, as they previously sued Google in 2020 for illegally maintaining a monopoly in Internet search and search advertising services, and in 2022 for illegally obtaining and using the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent.
Google filed a memo this week asking the court to deny the states’ requests to review communications between some of its employees and their attorneys in the ongoing lawsuit. The Texas government even compared Google’s approach to a Modern Eye of Sauron.
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