(Reuters) - An Ohio judge dismissed antitrust claims on Wednesday in a case against Google, handing the company a victory as it faces a separate federal investigation into its search results.
Google is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over whether it uses its strength in online searches to thwart competitors, and the Ohio case leveled similar allegations against the Internet search company.
MyTriggers.com, an Ohio-based shopping comparison search Website, accused Google of giving preferential treatment in its search results to Google’s own services. It also accused Google of making unfair agreements with other sites to exert control over search advertising.
“MyTriggers is reviewing the decision and considering its next steps,” myTriggers.com attorney Jonathan Kanter said in an email on Thursday.
A Google representative declined to comment.
The Ohio attorney general stepped into the case as well, arguing that the myTriggers.com antitrust claims against Google were not precluded by federal law.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Bessey agreed that the federal Communications Decency Act did not prohibit Ohio state law antitrust claims against Google.
However, Bessey also ruled that myTriggers.com had only identified harm to itself. The law requires it show harm to competition generally, Bessey wrote, and myTriggers.com had not identified other competitors harmed by Google’s alleged conduct.
The case in the Court of Common Pleas, Frankly County, Ohio Civil Division is Google Inc. v. myTriggers.com Inc. et al, no. 09CVH10-14836.
Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Gunna Dickson