Attorneys General Launch Bipartisan Probe Into Google


Texas is leading the investigation, and its attorney general Ken Paxton was quoted by Reuters as saying the probe will focus on Google's "overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers".

The probe came three days after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced an antitrust investigation with eight other attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and OH into Facebook for similar monopoly concerns.

Google, he said, "is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet, as they dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and even the video side with YouTube".

Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) Center for Technology Associate Director and Innovation Jessica Melugin similarly said in a statement, "These state attorneys general are expanding the power of their office and stretching the limits of what constitutes an antitrust violation".

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls vast expanses of the internet economy, including 31% of online advertising revenue and almost 100% of search engine use.

The move, described as a preliminary probe of Google's actions in online advertising, highlights the growing complaints about Big Tech dominance and follows a separate investigation into Facebook announced last week by a coalition of USA states.

On Friday, a company blog confirmed that the DOJ has officially requested information from Google regarding its business practices.

"The state attorneys general, they are an independent bunch, and they can be quite tenacious", Racine said.

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According to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, the Internet is the superhighway of information. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Missouri's former state attorney general. "But the facts will lead where the facts lead". "When most Americans think of the Internet, they no doubt think of Google".

President Donald Trump's objections with Google are different.

But federal and state regulators and policymakers are growing more concerned not just with the company's impact on ordinary internet users, but also on smaller companies striving to compete in Google's markets. Multiple attorneys general are also investigating Facebook for. well, everything Facebook does.

However, its share of the market has declined in recent years, as companies such as Amazon attract more spending.

One outcome antitrust regulators might explore is forcing Google to spin off its search platform into a separate company, experts say.

The action adds to a mounting number of probes of big technology firms by U.S. authorities.

Google's attorneys are extremely familiar with handling antitrust probes by now. "This investigation will focus on the capture of that information and whether Google embedded itself in every level of the online market ad sales to monopolize this industry".

Epstein, who considers himself a moderate who leans liberal, warned that if Congress becomes controlled by Democrats, "Google's power in Washington will skyrocket".