Sep 9, 2019 - Technology

50 states and territories open joint antitrust investigation into Google

The Google logo on display in Berlin, Germany, on June 6, 2018.

The Google logo on display in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Attorneys general of 50 states and territories on Monday formally announced a joint, bipartisan antitrust investigation into Google, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The move by the states and territories represents a new, wide-ranging front in the government-led assault on Google's power. It also means that even if parallel probes by the Department of Justice and Congress fizzle out, some even more aggressive state prosecutors could carry on the fight.

Details: The investigation, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, will determine if Google's online dominance stifles competition in the online advertisement industry. California and Alabama are the only 2 states that have not joined the investigation.

What they're saying: Paxton said during a press conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court building that the investigation is "to determine the facts. Right now it's about advertising, but the facts will lead where they lead."

The big picture: The attorneys general investigation adds yet another layer of scrutiny on Big Tech. Google, Facebook and Amazon have historically enjoyed wide regulatory freedom in the U.S., but are now facing numerous state and federal probes into their practices.

Go deeper: The full and growing list of U.S. government inquiries into Big Tech

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