Monday, 18 November, 2019

Google's ad practices draw new antitrust probe by USA states

Face with 'Google' projected on Google's ad practices draw new antitrust probe by USA states
Russell Knight | 10 September, 2019, 12:25

It helped create a website called focusontheuser.com to "educate consumers and policy makers about how Google's conduct directly harms consumers while offering a straightforward remedy", Luther Lowe, senior vice president for public policy, wrote in a blog post.

In a rare show of bipartisan force, attorneys general from 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are investigating whether Google's huge online search and advertising business is engaging in monopolistic behavior.

Speaking to reporters in front of the US Supreme Court Monday, a group of 13 attorneys general struck a bipartisan tone.

Google has been accused of creating an "existential threat" to internet retailers with its grip on digital advertising as United States prosecutors announced a competition probe into the company.

Google, he said, "is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet and searching on the internet, as they dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and even the video side with YouTube".

The Justice Department is also probing Google's role in the online advertising market and its search operations, Bloomberg has reported, although it's inquiry is separate from the state efforts. Ken Walker, SVP of global affairs at the Chocolate Factory, said it welcomed and supported the investigation.

"But to protect the integrity of our work, we can't comment - to confirm or deny any pending or potential investigation", the spokesperson said.

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The aide added that so far the Defense Department "has not produced a single document in this investigation". Many military stopover locations, he explained, have imposed increasingly restrictive operating hours.

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The new rules by the Trump administration apply to migrants who pass through another country before reaching the U.S. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard is to meet with US officials on Tuesday to discuss Mexico's efforts.

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Both Vikram and the Pragyan rover had a design lifetime of one lunar daytime, equivalent to around 14 Earth days. Chandrayaan-2, which cost about $140m (£114m), far less than other missions, is an entirely indigenous project.

The investigation significantly raises the risks of regulation for Google, which so far has faced antitrust scrutiny from federal lawmakers and the Justice Department.

Top legal officials from dozens of USA states were set to unveil a probe of Google over allegations of "anticompetitive behavior", days after a separate coalition announced a similar investigation of social networking giant Facebook. Asked about the abstainers, Paxton said, "you might not be surprised that California, where Google's located", did not join the lawsuit.

Nebraska attorney general Doug Peterson, a Republican, said at a news conference held in Washington that 50 attorneys general joining together sends a "strong message to Google".

Microsoft has largely escaped the antitrust heat that its tech industry peers face but Amazon is in the hot seat. Tara Gallegos, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, declined to confirm or deny any state investigation and would not comment on the announcement by the other states. Google's dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

The announcement of the probe comes just days after a similar one was launched by eight states' attorneys general into Facebook, and both investigations come in reaction to what many see as inaction by Congress and the Federal Trade Commission in an era in which several large tech companies control an inordinate share of our data and our eyeballs.

A group of 50 attorneys general have launched an antitrust probe into Google, saying the search giant's dominance has become a concern for consumers and businesses alike.

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