A coalition of 50 US attorney generals launched an investigation into Google’s business practices to determine whether it violated competition law.
The group comprises officials from 48 US states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico. California and Alabama are not taking part in the probe, which is headed by Texas attorney general Ken Paxton.
Paxton explained a statement that officials had seen evidence Google’s practices may have harmed consumer choice, stifled innovation and violated user privacy. He later added the investigation will initially focus on search and advertising markets, but said “the facts will lead where the facts lead”.
“This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet as they dominate the buyer side, seller side, auction side and even the video side with YouTube.”
Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill claimed Google directs “most, if not all, of the traffic” on the internet, adding it was important to establish “whether this traffic determination is being done in a fair manner”.
In a blog, Google SVP of global affairs and Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker noted the company had “always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so”.
“We look forward to showing how we are investing in innovation, providing services that people want, and engaging in robust and fair competition.”
Google is also being probed by the Department of Justice: in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, parent Alphabet said it received its first request for documents in the case on 30 August.
Last week, a smaller group of attorney generals began exploring potential competition law breaches by Facebook.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back