By Joseph Chalfant

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against Google on June 8 in an attempt to declare the tech giant a public utility.

In a press release, the Attorney General’s Office stated that the lawsuit would pursue two courses of legal action. Yost will seek to legally declare Google a common carrier that is subject to proper regulation, as well as demand that Google provide competitors with “equal rights to its own,” requiring that the company not prioritize the placement of its products.

Google would be required to extend that practice to “advertisements, enhancements, knowledge boxes, integrated specialized searches, direct answers and other features,” according to the release.

“Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products–that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive. When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access,” said Yost.

The suit alleges that the company holds a monopoly over the search engine marketplace with nearly a 90% market share of all internet searches and a 95% share of all mobile searches. The Office argued that consumers cannot make informed decisions because Google can refine search algorithms to work to the company’s benefit.

Google spokesman José Castañeda countered that changing the company to a public utility was not the will of Ohioans.

“Ohioans simply don’t want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company…This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law and we’ll defend ourselves against it in court.”

Some experts aren’t convinced that the suit will be a success.

“It sounds like another attempt to limit the power of big tech without paying attention to the actual law. According to NBC News, Google’s not a public utility any more than the Yellow Pages telephone book is,” said Boston University law professor Tiffany Li.

This lawsuit is part of a growing trend among Republican Attorneys General across the country. In December of last year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that he would lead a multi-state antitrust effort against Google. In mid-March, an amended suit was announced, and the coalition gained bipartisan support.

The filing comes just a day after the company was forced to settle for $268 million with a French regulator for anti-competitive business tactics. As a result, Google has been required to change its advertising for a minimum of three years.