Skip to main content

50 U.S. states and territories announce an antitrust investigation of Google

Fifty U.S states and territories announced an antitrust investigation into Google on Monday, focusing on the company’s advertising practices and its control over internet search.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the investigation, said that Google “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet.”

Paxton noted, however, that this was merely an antitrust investigation into the company’s practices, not a lawsuit — at least, not yet.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

“There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition, but we have seen evidence that Google’s business practices may have undermined consumer choice, stifled innovation, violated users’ privacy, and put Google in control of the flow and dissemination of online information,” Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement announcing the bipartisan investigation. “We intend to closely follow the facts we discover in this case and proceed as necessary.”

Reports of the bipartisan investigation into the company originally surfaced last week. The probe includes the attorneys general from 48 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Google’s home state of California and Alabama are the only U.S. states not involved in the investigation.

We reached out to Google for comment on the antitrust investigation and will update this story if we receive a response.

In July, the Justice Department announced that it would be opening a broad antitrust investigation into the nation’s largest tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

That investigation is reportedly going to be focused on “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers,” according to a press release.

“The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online,” said House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in June. “But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications.”

When asked about the Justice Department’s move earlier this year, a spokesman for Google pointed to part of the testimony by Adam Cohen, the company’s director of economic policy, before the House Judiciary Committee: “In the face of intense competition, we are proud of our record of continued innovation,” Cohen said. “We have helped reduce prices and expand choice for consumers and merchants in the U.S. and around the world. We have created new competition in many sectors, and new competitive pressures often lead to concerns from rivals. We have consistently shown how our business is designed and operated to benefit our customers.”

The investigation into Google comes after another antitrust probe focusing on Facebook  That probe is being led by an attorney from New York with attorneys general from seven states as well as the District of Columbia.

Editors' Recommendations

Emily Price
Emily is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her book "Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More at…
U.S. astronaut returns home after record-breaking mission
U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei back on Earth.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei returned home safely on Wednesday after the longest single space mission by an American astronaut.

Vande Hei’s stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) lasted 355 days, beating the previous record set by Scott Kelly in 2016 by 15 days.

Read more
U.S. astronaut shares highs and lows of record space trip
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei aboard the space station.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is returning to Earth this week after setting a new record for the longest continuous spaceflight by an American.

On March 15, Vande Hei broke the existing 340-day record set by Scott Kelly in 2016, and when he leaves the International Space Station (ISS) in the next few days, that record will have extended to 355 days, just 10 short of a full year.

Read more
Are you immortalized on Google Street View? It’s easy to find out
An image from Google Street View.

Google-branded cars have been trundling up and down many of the world’s streets since 2007, capturing panoramic images for its online Street View tool that lets you explore locations in great detail at ground level.

But have you ever wondered if you yourself have been immortalized on Street View, your presence documented online for all eternity (or for as long as Street View lasts, at least)?

Read more