Attorneys General Join Investigation Into Google

Attorneys General Join Investigation Into Google”

State attorneys general led by Ken Paxton of Texas announced the probe Monday on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, citing concerns that the company is raising costs for advertisers and questioning whether consumers are getting the best information from search results.

A coalition of attorneys general representing 50 U.S. states and territories today announced a long-awaited joint probe into antitrust complaints against one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Google.

A group of 48 USA states have launched an antitrust probe against Alphabet-owned Google over its outsize dominance of online advertising with only the states of California and Alabama breaking the show of unity.

Indiana Attorney Curtis Hill said the investigation is "independent" and "preliminary", but is based on suspicions that Google may use dishonest practices to promote its services. When a giant like Google makes 90% of its revenue from utilizing our personal data in its advertising business while undermining consumer choice, stifling innovation, violating our privacy, and controlling the flow and exchange of information, it is essential that we take a closer look. Is something really free if we are increasingly giving over our privacy?

Google declined to comment beyond a Friday blog post by Google's chief lawyer, Kent Walker, who said the company planned to work constructively with regulators. There are almost 800 attorneys just in the attorney general's office in the state of Texas.

Racine explained that attorneys general from each state are "an independent bunch".

Epstein said he had been in regular touch with some of the attorneys general, in some cases going back several years. According to him, the investigation was necessary because Google "dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet".

President Donald Trump's objections with Google are different.

The initial focus will be on Google's advertising practices.

The Federal Trade Commission has also announced recent fines against Google's parent, Alphabet, and Facebook.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a former Missouri state attorney general, said during a press conference call that the antitrust investigation was "very significant" "for those who believe in holding the big tech companies accountable".

Google has become a frequent target of regulatory and public scrutiny recently as many people grow more skeptical about it growing into a "too big" company that dwarfs its rivals.

Participating states on Monday asked Google to provide documents on its advertising business, Paxton said at the announcement in Washington.

John E. Lopatka, a law professor at Pennsylvania State University, said the states' investigation is likely to prove duplicative because the Justice Department usually has the expertise on antitrust law, a complex legal issue. "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".

Google is a big part of the California economy, Tobias said.

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