The bipartisan effort is being spearheaded by Texas, and the whole probe will be announced on Sept. 9. If Google is targeted in an antitrust investigation and is found to have broken antitrust laws, its business model could be severely harmed.
Google could be compelled to change the way it categorizes search results, and it might have to pay fines of billions of dollars like it already has in Europe.
Regulators could even force the company to let go of profitable businesses like YouTube.
“I continue to be concerned with the aggregation of data in the hands of a few and am always watchful of any monopoly,” said Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. “As attorneys general, we need to evaluate and address specific conduct, utilizing our existing antitrust and consumer protection laws.”
Google said it works to provide choices for consumers.
“Google’s services help people every day, create more choice for consumers, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector.”
In addition to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, many State AGs have expressed an interest in joining the investigations into whether Big Tech companies are abusing their power.
Attorneys general from 39 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia, have all signed a letter to the FTC asking it to look at a large range of factors when it comes to how Big Tech is harming consumers.
There was also a July meeting with AGs from eight states with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to discuss Big Tech’s ramifications.