Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Google LLC, for engaging in false and misleading practices in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices—Consumer Protection Act. In the lawsuit, Texas seeks a temporary and permanent injunction ordering Google to cease its misleading practices, and civil monetary penalties for past misconduct.  

The basis for the lawsuit is Google’s employment of iHeartMedia to record and broadcast advertisements in the Dallas-Fort Worth and the Greater Houston markets to promote a Google brand smartphone, the “Pixel 4.” Google provided the script for the ads which included personal endorsements for radio disk jockeys (DJs) to read, describing their personal use and enjoyment of the smartphone. At the time, however, the Pixel 4 had not yet been released, none of the DJs had actually used it, and Google refused to provide samples to iHeartMedia.  iHeartMedia realized the script Google provided would be misleading to consumers and explained these concerns, but Google refused to acquiesce and insisted on the DJs recording “first-hand testimonials” for a product they had never used. 

“This is not the first time I have had to address bad behavior by Big Tech companies. They are not above the law, and I will make sure they are held accountable for their misleading business practices,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Google will not continue manipulating Texas consumers.”  

To read the complaint click here.