State Attorneys General Announce Google Antitrust Investigation

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The bipartisan move could result in a broad legal challenge to the company's internet market dominance.

The investigation was announced at a press conference on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., according to the Washington Post.

"Google is one of America's top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation: Things that were science fiction a few years ago are now free for everyone-translating any language instantaneously, learning about objects by pointing your phone, getting an answer to pretty much any question you might have". He stressed Monday that it is "not a lawsuit, it is an investigation to determine the facts".

"Historically the feds have led the process and they're the ones that are taken seriously", said Matthew Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute, an anti-monopoly think tank.

"The broad question we are examining is whether Google has achieved and maintained its dominance through business practices created to thwart competition".

The coalition also raised concerns on how Google ranks its search results and protects its users' personal data.

"The state attorneys general, they are an independent bunch, and they can be quite tenacious", Racine said.

Separately, a second group of state attorneys general, led by NY, is focusing on Facebook Inc, it was announced on Friday.

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt compared the online advertising market to buying a house, yet Google owned the house and the majority of houses in the country, and it represented both the buyer and seller in the deal.

'It's unbelievable that they have 50 AGs that are part of the multi-state investigation, ' said Charlotte Slaiman, a senior policy counsel for consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. DOJ may be investigating other tech companies as well.

The move, described as a preliminary probe of Google's actions in online advertising, highlights the growing complaints about Big Tech dominance and follows a separate investigation into Facebook announced last week by a coalition of USA states. But many of Silicon Valley's critics believe federal law enforcers have been reluctant to go after the tech giants.

This effort by the states comes in tandem with parallel antitrust investigations that are ongoing at the FTC and the Department of Justice, which have also asked for records from Amazon and Apple.

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.

Google is a massive company that touches the lives of nearly everyone in the United States, and that has led to increasing regulatory pressure. "They own most of the technical stack between advertisers and publishers".

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Days after joining an anti-trust investigation into Facebook, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Tuesday that he's participating in a similar multi-state investigation into Google's business practices.

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