Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Arizona Attorney General joins multi-state antitrust investigation of Google

Arizona Attorney General joins multi-state antitrust investigation of Google

Paxton said at a press conference that the states formally requested, on September 9, documents from Google on its advertising business.

The company is now faced with a joint antitrust investigation by 50 USA states and territories, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Google "dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet", Paxton told reporters during a press conference.

Two states are not participating in the investigation: Alabama and California. The states have a track record of taking on major companies such as cigarette makers and banks over harms to consumers and wresting fines that can amount to billions of dollars. Miller said the investigation is in its early stages, so they have not made any conclusions. "That indicates a greater number of staff resources that can be brought to bear".

Critics often point to Google's 2007 acquisition of online advertising company DoubleClick as pivotal to its advertising dominance.

"And what we have found is that Google, the giant company Google, is the one that's directing most if not all of the traffic on this highway".

After the AGs' announcement, the stock was $1,198.82 in midafternoon trading, down $6.11 or 0.51%.

"The state attorneys general, they are an independent bunch, and they can be quite tenacious", he said.

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A separate state coalition, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, is investigating whether Facebook stifles competition, according to The Wall Street Journal. "This investigation will focus on the capture of that information and whether Google embedded itself in every level of the online market ad sales to monopolize this industry". The Washington Post first reported the probe last week. The FTC staff that investigated Google's alleged anti-competitive behavior in 2010 recommended antitrust action against the company, but then FTC chairman, Jon Leibowitz, chose to reject that recommendation.

Google critics cheered news of the investigation.

"There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition", he said. A spokeswoman for California's attorney general did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The announcement from 50 attorneys general calls for a probe into whether Google abused its power in the online ecosystem at the expense of rivals or consumers.

Google said in a statement on Friday that it would work constructively with them. "Google's impact on the lives of everyday Americans and the economy is pervasive-it is the dominant player in online advertising and it has the power to control information and commerce around the world".

The state moves follow similar sweeping antitrust tech investigations launched by the Federal Trade Commission and the Trump administration's Department of Justice; the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee is conducting a similar probe.

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