Sep 3, 2019

Report: States line up for Google antitrust probe

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Attorneys general representing a majority of U.S. states plan to announce an antitrust investigation into Google, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Google is under fire from Republicans for alleged bias against conservatives and from Democrats for privacy violations and extremism on Google-owned YouTube. The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have both begun broad antitrust investigations of Google and other large tech firms.

Details: The state attorneys general will announce the probe Sept. 9, according to the Post, which also said it wasn't clear whether the state effort was limited to Google or also included other companies.

What they're saying:

"Google's services help people every day, create more choice for consumers, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country. We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector."
— statement provided by a Google spokesperson

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Google discloses DOJ antitrust document request

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On Friday, Google disclosed that the U.S. Department of Justice has asked for documents about prior antitrust investigations, confirming the tech giant is a target of the agency's recently announced probe into the industry.

Why it matters: On Monday, a group of state attorneys general is expected to announce a similar probe, which Google also noted it anticipates.

The growing list of U.S. government inquiries into Big Tech

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Monday, a large group of state attorneys general led by Texas's Ken Paxton is expected to announced a new antitrust probe into Google, adding to the lengthening list of investigations into the big internet companies.

Why it matters: Big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are now facing numerous state and federal probes into their practices. These companies have historically enjoyed wide regulatory freedom in the U.S., but lawmakers and regulators want to change that — and antitrust law gives government its most powerful tools to penalize, regulate or even break up American corporations.

Catch upArrowSep 9, 2019

50 states and territories open joint antitrust investigation into Google

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.

Go deeperArrowSep 9, 2019