Sci-tech

State AGs will conduct antitrust investigation of Google

State AGs will conduct antitrust investigation of Google”

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

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".

A group of 50 attorneys general have launched an antitrust probe into Google, saying the search giant's dominance has become a concern for consumers and businesses alike.

Attorney Generals from nearly every state have banded together to investigate whether Google is violating the antitrust laws.

The U.S. Justice Department opened a sweeping investigation of big tech companies this summer, looking at whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.

"But to protect the integrity of our work, we can't comment - to confirm or deny any pending or potential investigation", the spokesperson said.

The announcement by the states comes days after New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced she is leading a separate coalition of states in a wide-ranging investigation of Facebook Inc., which is based in Menlo Park, California.

Google accounts for about 38% of digital advertising spending in the USA - at around $48bn - followed by Facebook at about 22%, according to eMarketer.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has talked tough on tech in the past and has established a reputation for taking on powerful figures, filing dozens of suits against the Trump administration. The Department of Justice is now probing Apple, Amazon, and Google. In the meantime, Google has faced withering scrutiny around the world, particularly in Europe, where regulators have issued the company $9 billion in competition-related fines over the past three years. The FTC staff that investigated Google's alleged anti-competitive behavior in 2010 recommended antitrust action against the company, but then FTC chairman, Jon Leibowitz, chose to reject that recommendation.

Washington state is participating, the attorney general's office confirmed Monday.

The state investigations could complement or support the federal government's probes, as they did when the feds pursued Microsoft over antitrust violations in the 1990s.

Will Castleberry, Facebook's vice president for state and local policy, said last week that the company would cooperate with state attorneys general.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in an interview with Breitbart News that many state attorneys generals have "had enough" of big tech, and they will "take action" after significant investigation. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), on the other hand, call for tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google to be broken up simply for being too big.



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