Google: 50 U.S. states and territories launch competition probe

Andrew Cummings
September 10, 2019

"This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet", Mr. Paxton said at the press briefing.

The Attorney General's Office says none of these investigation have fully addressed the source of Google's sustained market power and the company's ability to engage in serial and repeated business practices meant to protect and maintain that power.

Google and its subsidiary YouTube were fined a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that YouTube illegally collected personal information from children without their parents' consent.

"When there is no longer a free market or competition, this increases prices, even when something is marketed as free", Moody said. "Is something really free if we are increasingly giving over our privacy information?"

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and past year reported revenue of $137 billion and income of $31 billion.

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 U.S. states.

Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president of global affairs, said in a blog post Friday that the company would cooperate with regulators while stressing that its services "help people, create more choice, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the United States".

Landry said that Google's dominance in the digital advertising market could "kill online publishing", or Google could decide "who stays and who goes".

On Monday, attorneys general declined to say if they planned to expand scrutiny to other large tech firms.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who is one of the leading voices taking on big tech in the Senate, tweeted: "It's going to be a very bad day for @google".

However, he noted, "the facts will lead to where the facts lead". "Most Americans think it's free to 'Google' something, but it comes at a cost".

Fb supplied no speedy remark, however previously it has claimed it isn't a monopoly and that customers have many selections for learn how to join with individuals on-line.

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

The probe will look into the Silicon Valley-based giant's dominance in online searches and advertising, attorneys said.

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.

Republican attorney general Jeff Landry of Louisiana called Google's domination "an absolutely existential threat to our virtual marketplace". European regulators also have investigated in this area, ultimately fining Google for promoting its own shopping service.

This, of course, could become a much bigger deal for Google.

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