Google has agreed to pay $8 million (approximately Rs. 65 million), to resolve allegations that it used deceptive advertisements to promote the Pixel 4 smartphone, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated on Friday.

Both the federal government and state attorneys general have investigated the search and advertising giant for infractions of antitrust and consumer protection rules. The company also produces Android smartphone software and owns YouTube. Two antitrust lawsuits have been filed by the federal government.

In this case, Paxton’s office claimed that Google hired radio announcers to provide glowing reviews of the Pixel 4 despite the company’s refusal to let them use one of the devices.

“If Google is going to advertise in Texas, their statements better be true,” Paxton said in a statement. “In this case, the company made statements that were blatantly false, and our settlement holds Google accountable for lying to Texans for financial gain.”

It’s hardly the first time Texas and Google have disagreed. Texas filed a complaint against Google in 2020 along with other states for allegedly “illegally maintaining monopolies in Internet search and search advertising services.” This week, Google filed a memo asking the court to reject the state’s request to select some Google employees’ interactions with its attorneys. The complaint is still pending.

In 2022, Texas filed a lawsuit against Google, “alleging that the tech giant has unlawfully captured and used the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent to do so,” according to a press statement. Google was then compared by Paxton to a “modern Eye of Sauron.”

Google said in a statement that it takes compliance with advertising laws seriously. “We are pleased to resolve this issue,” said spokesperson Jose Castaneda.

A regulatory ruling seen by Reuters on Friday revealed that Google also faces problems in India, where the competition watchdog has opened an investigation against the company after several businesses claimed the service fee the US firm charges for in-app payments breaches an earlier antitrust rule.

The watchdog has been asked to investigate Google’s new User Choice Billing (UCB) system, which the owner of Tinder Tinder Match Group and many Indian businesses alleged was anti-competitive.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday issued an order stating “it is of the opinion that an inquiry needs to be made.”


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