Google Asks Court to Narrow Scope of Rumble’s Antitrust Case in MTD

Google LLC has filed a motion to dismiss and strike portions of a complaint lodged by Rumble Inc. for alleged monopolization of the online video-sharing platform market. Wednesday’s 19-page filing argues that the plaintiff’s first amended complaint rests on flawed theories that do not meet the federal pleading standard and portions thereof should be stricken as irrelevant.

The motion first recounts how Rumble, a video-sharing platform that pays its content-creators royalties for their videos, filed an antitrust suit against Google in January bringing, among other claims, a Section 1 Sherman Act tying claim. Google noted that after it filed a motion to dismiss the first complaint, “[r]ather than defend against the motion,” Rumbled filed an amended complaint that disposed of the tying claim. Now, the operative complaint asserts only a Sherman Act Section 2 claim based on three different theories of liability, Google explained.

In addition, the defendant accused Rumble of including “conjecture, speculation, and uninformed media reports about how Google displays and ranks videos on its search engine results pages and how mobile device manufacturers license the YouTube app for preinstallation on Android devices” in its first complaint. Additions to the second version, Google said, are essentially copied from a government lawsuit filed against it last year.

The motion asks that the court pare down the case to the allegation that it self-preferences YouTube search results above other video platforms’ results. The tech giant also requested that the court strike “as impertinent and immaterial” more than 100 paragraphs it claims are virtually identical to those within the governmental complaint.

The motion to dismiss hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9 before Judge Haywood S. Gilliam.

Google is represented by Williams & Connolly LLP, and Rumble by Burke, Williams & Sorensen LLP.