50 US states and territories announce broad antitrust investigation of Google

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Attorneys general for 50 US states and territories officially announced an antitrust investigation of Google (CA and AL are the only states that have not signed onto the probe), embarking on a wide-ranging review of a tech giant that the officials said may threaten competition, consumers and the continued growth of the web. Appearing on the steps of the Supreme Court, TX Attorney General Ken Paxton charged that Google “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet,” though he cautioned that despite his criticism the states had launched an investigation for now and not a lawsuit. TX AG Paxton said the probe’s initial focus will be online advertising, a market in which Google is a leader, raking in more than $48 billion in 2019. But some of those attorneys general raised additional complaints about Google, ranging from the way the company processes and ranks search results to the extent to which it may not fully protect users’ personal information. Their early rebukes raised the stakes for Google, threatening top-to-bottom scrutiny of its sprawling business beyond just ads. Paxton promised the probe would go wherever the facts lead.

Another group of 11 state attorneys general — led by New York’s Letitia James — has commenced their own probe against Facebook, exploring whether it violates competition laws and mishandles consumers’ personal information.

50 US states and territories announce broad antitrust investigation of Google 50 states and territories launch massive joint probe into Google (ars technica)