Monday, 11 November, 2019

State Attorneys General vs. Big Tech: Officials to probe Facebook, Google

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks to reporters as he announces the results to his office's investigation into the killing of Stephon Clark South Dakota joining nationwide investigation of Google
Emmett Howard | 11 September, 2019, 07:11

Attorneys general from 48 USA states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have formally opened an antitrust probe into Google, in a sign of growing government scrutiny of technology giants. The two states not participating in the bipartisan probe are Alabama and California.

In a news conference Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, one of the probe's leaders, said Google dominates all aspects of internet advertising and search.

The states' probe of Google is one of numerous antitrust investigations going on against the big tech companies either in the USA or overseas.

Attorneys general Monday said Google search results are skewed toward its own products and those of advertisers rather than the best information.

Google is set to face a major investigation from the U.S. government concerning possible monopoly abuse in the advertising industry. 'When there is no longer a free market or competition, this increases prices, even when something is marketed as free, and harms consumers, ' Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, leading the investigation, told attendees at the press conference announcing the move. 'Is something really free if we are increasingly giving over our privacy information? "This investigation will initially focus on capture of that information and whether Google embedded itself on every level of the online market [for] ad sales to monopolize this industry".

On Friday, Google's senior vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker, wrote in a blog post that answering questions about this topic is old hat for Google.

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A Wall Street Journal report suggested that New York Attorney General Letitia James will lead the investigation into Facebook. "The Department of Justice, for example, has announced that it's starting a review of online platforms", he said in a statement. In the meantime, Google has faced withering scrutiny around the world, particularly in Europe, where regulators have issued the company $9 billion in competition-related fines over the past three years.

Google is accustomed to antitrust probes, after the several past and present investigations and actions against it. "Let's say we go back before the invention of television".

"We are acting as one today in regards to launching what I know will be a fair and full investigation", said District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine. "We will not prejudge the direction or outcome of this investigation, but are committed to following the facts in whatever direction they take us", said Attorney General Tong.

50 attorneys general launch probe into Google's use of digital advertising; insight from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

The investigation is the latest sign of the rapidly expanding antitrust investigations confronting Google along with other giant USA technology companies. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), on the other hand, call for tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google to be broken up simply for being too big.

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