Rumble Counters Google’s Dismissal Arguments in Video Platform Antitrust Suit

A month after defendant Google LLC moved to dismiss Rumble Inc.’s case alleging that it, with  subsidiary YouTube LLC, monopolized the online video platform market, the plaintiff has responded. In its Wednesday-filed opposition, Rumble criticizes Google’s motion as both construing its complaint too narrowly and procedurally improper.

Rumble, a YouTube competitor that allows content creators to share and monetize their videos and that enables the searching and viewing of that content, alleged one claim for relief, attempted monopolization and monopolization of the aforementioned market in violation of Sherman Act Section 2 in its first amended complaint. The company contends, among other things, that Google “excludes competition in the online video platform market by self-preferencing YouTube over competing platforms in Google’s general search results rankings.”

In this week’s filing, Rumble countered that it has adequately pleaded its monopolization claims. Google’s recitation of the complaint, the plaintiff urges, “relies on a narrow and incomplete reading of the actual allegations.” In particular, Rumble asserted that Google misclassifies the alleged conduct, like contractual arrangements, incentives, and technological restrictions, as tying rather than as exclusionary conduct.

The defendant’s attempt to sever that conduct from the Section 2 analysis is legally flawed, Rumble argued, as its amended complaint states no tying claim. In addition, Rumble argued that Google’s partial motion to dismiss is procedurally improper because it “addresses the substance of allegations that were made in support of the Section 2 claim in Rumble’s Original Complaint, which Google did not seek to dismiss in its motion.”

Finally, Rumble asserted that Google’s motion to strike allegations that support its Section 2 claim is baseless because they are sufficiently pleaded and directly support its contentions. Google, represented by Williams & Connolly LLP, must file its reply brief by July 21. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9 in San Francisco, California.

Rumble is represented by Burke, Williams & Sorensen LLP.