States Investigating Whether Google's Dominance Hurts Competition

50 US States and Territories Launch Antitrust Probe Into Google

It was confirmed late Monday that 50 attorneys general from Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and 48 American states have joined hands with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for an investigation into Google's business practices.

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.

The state attorneys general made the announcement on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., where they stressed the bipartisan nature of the investigation.

Google expects similar queries from state attorneys general. "We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook's actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers' choices or increased the price of advertising". Also raising concerns over giving Google more privacy information for these ads. "They dominate the buyer side, the sellers' side, and even the video side with YouTube", the Texas Attorney General said explaining the reason for the investigation.

A rep for Alabama attorney general Steve Marshall did not return a request for comment.

Scott Morton, the Yale professor, said most states have laws that mimic federal antitrust laws, but it can be harder for state attorneys general to enforce those laws because they don't usually have in-house antitrust experts. His peer-reviewed research found Google's algorithms can easily shift 20 percent or more votes among voters and up to 80 percent in some demographic groups.

Google runs a monopoly in many different business areas.

"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", Walker wrote.

More news: Opec Kingpin Saudi Arabia replaces energy minister in major shakeout

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.

The Verge reported that the investigation will put under the microscope Google's search and advertising units first.

At the time of posting, Google said it has been working "constructively" with domestic and worldwide regulators and it is looking to continue cooperating with requests for information.

The Mountain View, California-based tech firm's dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

But Yost told National Public Radio on Monday that it's a "possibility" that the probes of Google and Facebook could lead to a forced breakup of the companies. But the sheer number participating in this kind of antitrust effort is unprecedented and gives it more weight, said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican.

In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission ended an investigation into Google declaring it did not manipulate its search results to hurt rivals.

Over the past decade, Google has been one of the biggest political donors in Washington, but this time around, the political environment is much less favorable to Google.

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