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US: Google hit by antitrust probe by 50 attorneys general

 |  September 9, 2019

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday, September 9, announced an antitrust investigation into Google, with the participation of 50 attorneys general. The probe comes as Silicon Valley faces increasing scrutiny from the government over what critics say are monopolistic business practices, reported CNBC. 

The investigation will be a bipartisan operation conducted by the attorneys general of 48 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. The only two states not participating in the probe are California, where Google is based, and Alabama. Paxton said the group had just recently sent Google a demand for information. 

“It’s an investigation to determine the facts,” Paxton said during a press conference outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. “Right now it’s about advertising, but the facts will lead where they lead.” 

The announcement was made by a small group of attorneys general which included Paxton, Karl Racine of Washington, DC, and Doug Peterson of Nebraska. Paxton said his office will serve as the head of a leadership team for the investigation, which will meet about the probe every week. Each state can be as involved as it wants to be. “It will be a very open process,” Paxton said.

For now, the probe will focus on Google’s dominance in digital advertising. But the attorneys general also hinted the investigation could become broader, extending to other businesses of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. They mentioned smartphones and online video.

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