WASHINGTON — Dozens of states formally announced an antitrust probe against Google on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court Monday.
- States' probe separate from federal investigations
- Looking into whether Google squeezes out competition
- Also look into privacy issues
Attorneys general in 48 states and two U.S. territories unveiled the bipartisan investigation, which will look into whether Google squeezes out competition when it comes to digital advertising, information markets and consumer choice. The inquiry will also look into privacy issues.
The probe comes as Google and other tech companies like Facebook face multiple investigations at the federal level over whether they have violated the nation's antitrust laws. This effort is meant to complement those investigations which are already underway, led by the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and Congress.
“Google has really dominated within the online advertising base in all facets of it, we felt it was important to let them know that we were on this," said Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) Florida said in an interview with Spectrum News. "That we are looking at it, that we are going to be seeking documents and answers from Google to ensure the market is fair, and if it’s not, we will pursue that information and act accordingly.”
The launch of the investigation is significant because of how widespread these inquires will be and how many states are involved.
Moody said the state of Florida will be involved in both of the investigations.
“We have tremendous resources within the Attorney General's office. I’m very proud of the lawyers and the talent that we have in our office. We are one of the lead states in this investigation, and we’ve already contributed greatly, and it’s important as we move forward. We will work in collaboration with Texas and other states that have joined in this investigation to determine whether there are antitrust concerns,” Moody explained.
A spokesperson for Google said the company will cooperate with the probes, but stated their services help people every day.