State AGs launch Google antitrust investigation

State AGs launch Google antitrust investigation

State AGs launch Google antitrust investigation

Amid rumors of a federal probe, 50 attorneys general have joined forces to launch an antitrust probe of the company.

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".

"This adds a whole different level of complexity for both Facebook and Google to deal with because they're dealing with potentially many different investigations, not all of which may be coordinated", said Robert Litan, former Clinton-era deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ's antitrust division.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is part of a nationwide executive committee leading a multi-state antitrust investigation into tech giant Google Inc's business practices.

Google is by far the largest online search engine and captures almost 75 percent of search-related online ads in the U.S., according to eMarketer.

Google wasn't so fortunate in the European Union, where the European Commission also started multiple antitrust investigations in the same period of time, involving Google's alleged anti-competitive behavior in regards to Google Shopping, Android, and Google Ads.

Yost and other AGs involved in the probe - which represent the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and every state but California and Alabama - have been vague about the exact focus and scope of the investigation.

Leslie Rutledge, a Republican attorney general from Arkansas, described Google as an "online search engine juggernaut", raising her concern that searches for businesses, including doctors, are colored by the way the tech giant's algorithms and advertising systems work.

The latest probes come on top of a review launched earlier this year by federal regulators of major online platforms to determine if they have "stifled" innovation or reduced competition.

The investigations come as Silicon Valley faces unprecedented heat, including calls by presidential candidates to break up big tech companies.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody echoed the sentiment.

In response to our request for comment on the investigation, Google pointed us towards a statement the company published last Friday.

Critics often point to Google's 2007 acquisition of online advertising company DoubleClick as pivotal to its advertising dominance.

President Donald Trump slammed Google and Facebook for "discriminating against conservatives" during a July White House summit on social media. "We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so".

Joining Paxton, a Republican, in the investigation are the attorneys general of nearly all US states and the District of Columbia.

"We certainly want to make sure that the Internet has competition, and more importantly, we want to make sure that we are preserving innovation", Hill said.

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