Big Tech backlash kicks into gear with antitrust moves


The attorneys general of 50 USA states and territories are teaming up to probe Google for possible antitrust violations, Ken Paxton, the AG for Texas, announced on Monday.

Google has another antitrust probe to worry about, after 50 attorneys general said on Monday they're opening a collective investigation into the tech giant's dominance of online advertising. According to Texas AG Ken Paxton, the leader of the investigation, the inquiry will focus on Google's advertising business, but it could expand depending on what they find.

Fifty states and territories attorneys general announced on Monday that they've launched an antitrust investigation against Google.

"When there is no longer a free market or competition, this increases prices, even when something is marketed as free", Moody said.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and controls vast expanses of the internet economy, including 31% of online advertising revenue and almost 100% of search engine use.

Google declined to comment beyond a Friday blog post by Google's chief lawyer, Kent Walker, who said the company planned to work constructively with regulators. Google has worked its way into controlling much of that process, and investigators want to know exactly how powerful the company has become in this space.

In July, the Justice Department announced an antitrust probe into America's biggest tech companies.

South Dakota joining nationwide investigation of Google
Oregon joins nearly every state in Google antitrust investigation

Racine said that while they plan to cooperate with the federal agencies, the states won't settle for any course of action "that may fall short" of what they think needs to be done. "It is illegal for a business to use its market power to engage in anti-competitive conduct specifically to protect its status as a virtual monopoly", said Nessel.

"There is an absolutely existential threat to our virtual marketplace", said Jeff Landry, Louisiana's attorney general.

Historically, the U.S. has lagged Europe and other countries when it comes to regulating the tech companies.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a market value of more than $820 billion and past year reported revenue of $137 billion and income of $31 billion. "The DOJ has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions".

"Now, more than ever, information is power, and the most important source of information in Americans' day-to-day lives is the internet".

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the Senate's foremost big tech critics, cheered the reported Google and Facebook antitrust investigations.

The U.S. Justice Department opened a sweeping investigation of big tech companies this summer, looking at whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.