Sci-tech

Google to face massive antitrust onslaught next week

Google to face massive antitrust onslaught next week”

The probe will be spearheaded by a wide range of state attorneys general who are working in partnership with the Department of Justice and will be focussing on anti-competitive and user data privacy-related practices.

The investigation is expected to be announced on Monday.

Google will be the subject of an antitrust probe being prepared by more than half of the country's state attorneys general, according to a report Tuesday by The Washington Post.

An antitrust investigation by state attorneys general would turn up the heat on Google, which could, like Microsoft in the 2000s, be forced to change business practices, deal with years of regulatory oversight, and face the threat of being broken up by federal regulators. Earlier this summer, a House antitrust subcommittee grilled executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

But government officials have since taken a sharper stance toward tech companies.

According to the Washington Post, states like Louisiana and MS have already been grilling Google for how it surfaces search results, while Texas officials say that Google may be violating state laws if they're proven to have a bias at Google that results in censorship of conservative viewpoints. Those states did not respond to requests for comment. That part will be tricky, and it's likely that Google's team of highly-paid legal experts will have something to say about the situation.

Approximately 30 attorney generals have signed on to an antitrust probe aimed at Google. However, the company told CNET in a statement that it will continue to work with regulators and attorneys general in their inquiries. The agency's antitrust leader, Makan Delrahim, later said at a conference in August that the federal government is coordinating with state leaders, which he numbered at more than a dozen, but declined to offer further details about the agency's plans. Attorneys general in multiple states have threatened that competition probes could be on the horizon.

"Google's services help people every day, create more choice for consumers, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country", a Google spokesperson said in a statement about the forthcoming announcement.



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