State Attorneys' General Probing Google For Antitrust Violations

State Attorneys' General Probing Google For Antitrust Violations

In a rare show of bipartisan force, attorneys general from 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are investigating whether Google's huge online search and advertising business is engaging in monopolistic behavior.

According to Reuters, attorneys general from 48 us states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are joining forces to investigate if Google is playing fair in the advertising industry. Meanwhile, attorneys general in states as politicallyas different as Texas and NY where Republican Ken Paxton and Democrat Letitia James are respectively joining together to investigate Google.

Paxton leads the probe, he said, which will focus on Google's advertising business.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is joining 47 other states on a wide-ranging investigation into potential antitrust violations at Google.

"What we've all learned is that while many consumers believe the internet is free... the internet is not free", Mr Paxton instructed a information convention in entrance of the US Supreme Court docket. "Is something really free if online ad prices go up based on one company's control?" The two probes widen the antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies beyond sweeping federal and congressional investigations and enforcement action by European regulators.

"We have answered many questions on these issues over many years, in the United States as well as overseas, across many aspects of our business, so this is not new for us", Google exec Kent Walker wrote last week in a blog post confirming that the company is the target of a DOJ probe. "We will not prejudge the direction or outcome of this investigation, but are committed to following the facts in whatever direction they take us", said Attorney General Tong. There are almost 800 attorneys just in the attorney general's office in the state of Texas.

"The state attorneys general, they are an independent bunch..."

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Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale economics professor and former antitrust official at the Justice Department under the Obama administration, said it's important that states are taking the lead because the Trump administration is "not really enforcing antitrust law except against companies the president is upset with". First came a then-record-breaking €2.42 billion fine in 2017 for steering shoppers toward Google's platform in search results. He noted that many Alaskan businesses rely on the internet to reach customers across the country.

Republican attorney general Jeff Landry of Louisiana called Google's domination "an absolutely existential threat to our virtual marketplace".

The Google investigation focuses on digital advertising, the main way the search giant and parent Alphabet Inc. make money. The company dominates the market with its search business, its ownership of Adsense, which sells ads, and in videos ads through YouTube, which Google also owns.

Google has had its fair share of antitrust probes over the years.

The bipartisan effort was organized after reports in June that the Justice Department was preparing its own antitrust investigation into Google. "That's what our investigation intends to uncover and reveal - whether Google is playing by the rules and acting fairly".

This, of course, could become a much bigger deal for Google.

"We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so", it said.

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