The Expanding Antitrust Probe of Big Tech — Business Review Board

The lead attorney-general said it will focus on Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic

The lead attorney-general said it will focus on Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic

He noted that this is an investigation, and not yet a lawsuit.

The announcement by the states comes days after New York State Attorney-General Letitia James announced she is leading a separate coalition of states in a wide-ranging investigation of Facebook. The company reported US$116.3 billion in ad revenue a year ago, which represented 85% of overall sales.

"I happen to think this will rewrite the standard for antitrust", Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told CNBC television. We've reached out to Google for comment and will update if we hear back. The Google investigation is made up of 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Google reportedly refused comment to the Post, aside from saying it would cooperate with the officials in their probe.

Racine, the lone Democrat at the press conference, said the probe was off to a good start, though it's too soon to say how long it might last.

According to research firm eMarketer, Google leads the USA digital ad market with a 37.2 percent share worth some $48 billion this year and is expected to control 20 percent of all United States ad spending, online and offline combined. Google's dominance in online search and advertising enables it to target millions of consumers for their personal data.

Over the past decade, Google has been one of the biggest political donors in Washington, but this time around, the political environment is much less favorable to Google.

The investigation is being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who hinted on Monday that the initial investigation could spawn others.

A Google booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

But federal and state regulators and policymakers are growing more concerned not just with the company's impact on ordinary internet users, but also on smaller companies striving to compete in Google's markets.

Google is a big part of the California economy, Tobias said. The states also want information about Google's ad-tech acquisitions, such as DoubleClick and AdMob, which helped turn Google into a juggernaut that generates more than $100 billion a year in revenue.

"There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition", Paxton said on Monday.

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

The tech titan is my go-to web browser and search engine; I'll even admit that I often use "Google" as a verb. Google dwarfs other search competitors and has faced harsh criticism in the past for favoring its own products over competitors at the top of search results.

As more facts become known, the investigation may expand its scope to emerging areas where Google "is unfairly exerting its influence", according to the release. Google is appealing the fine.

The Obama Justice Department investigated Google for possible antitrust violations.

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