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State AGs To Press Own Case Against Google

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Several states are moving forward with their own antitrust probe into Google while the Department of Justice (DOJ) gets ready to file a federal lawsuit, according to a report in the Washington Post (WaPo) on Friday (Oct. 16).

The states leading the probe include Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. The states could decide to join the DOJ’s case and a joint statement is being drafted, four sources familiar with the states’ probe told WaPo. 

Which state attorneys general are signing the statement isn’t known and the sources said it could change, adding that the timing could be for “political flexibility.” 

The sources also told WaPo that the DOJ lawsuit is expected to file within days.

Google is still doing business as usual and hosted a “Search On” livestream on Thursday (Oct. 15) as a replacement to its annual I/O developer conference, which was canceled due to the pandemic. The livestream focused on search and artificial intelligence and also introduced other upcoming developments and enhancements.

“There has never been more choice in the ways people access information, and we need to constantly develop cutting-edge technology to ensure that Google remains the most useful and most trusted way to search,” Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s head of search, said in a Thursday (Oct. 15) blog. 

Google is also facing a Chinese antitrust probe into whether Google took advantage of its hold over the Android mobile operating system in order to stifle competition. Authorities in India are also weighing an investigation into Google’s promotion of its mobile payment app.

In the upcoming DOJ lawsuit against the tech giant, prosecutors will focus on the multinational technology conglomerate’s power over internet searches.

The probe, which began in 2019, is intended to uncover whether the tech giant is engaged in illegal antitrust practices.

Google is not alone in facing investigations and allegations. Facebook, Apple and Amazon have faced backlash from lawmakers and regulators around the globe.

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