Google faces a new antitrust probe by 48 states2019-09-09 18:01 by Daniela
Today, attorneys general from 48 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico announced an antitrust investigation against Google, focusing on whether Google has harmed competition and consumers, looking at least initially into the company's conduct in its search, advertising and other businesses, though it may expand from there. The only two states not participating in the probe are California, where Google is based, and Alabama.
The bipartisan group, led by Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, referred to Google as an "online search juggernaut." Paxton said the group had just recently sent Google a demand for information.
"It's an investigation to determine the facts," Paxton said during a press conference outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. "Right now it's about advertising, but the facts will lead where they lead."
"We applaud the 50 state attorneys general for taking this unprecedented stand against Big Tech by uniting to investigate Google's destruction of competition in search and advertising," the Open Markets Institute said in a statement. "We haven't seen a major monopolization case against a tech giant since Microsoft was sued in 1998. Today's announcement marks the start of a new era."
The tech giant, along with Facebook, controls nearly 60% of all digital advertising, according to eMarketer. A wide range of businesses that must publicize their services — be it a hair stylist, a hospital or a Fortune 500 company — must abide by the terms and prices set by two companies. But, as eMarketer notes, the duopoly's control is diminishing as Amazon grows.
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