On Monday, 50 attorneys-general from US states and territories signed an antitrust investigation into Google, putting even greater pressure on major technology companies about their dominant market position.
The probe, led by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton from Texas, will focus primarily on Google advertising and search companies. But in comments made on Monday, the advocates-general suggested that they could expand the investigation later.
California and Alabama are the only two advocates-general who stay outside the probe.
At Monday's Supreme Court press conference, Paxton said that Google "dominates all aspects of internet advertising and internet search," The Washington Post reported.
"We applaud the 50 advocates-general for this unprecedented position against Big Tech by uniting to investigate the destruction of Google & # 39; s competition in search and advertising activities," the Open Markets Institute said in a statement. "We have not seen a major monopolization case against a technology giant since Microsoft was sued in 1998. Today's announcement marks the start of a new era."
Parallel to the investigation of the states, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are also investigating the companies out of concern that they can impede competition in the industry. In its latest quarterly figures, Facebook announced that the FTC had opened an antitrust investigation into the company in June. The Ministry of Justice also announced its own broad antitrust assessment last July, which was opened throughout the technology sector.
At a conference in August, the DOJ & # 39; s antitrust chief Makan Delrahim told reporters that the ministry worked with attorneys general to investigate potential antitrust violations in the technical sectors.
Separately, New York & # 39; s Attorney General Letitia James, a democrat, announced a similar investigation last Friday as to whether Facebook "compromised consumer data, reduced the quality of consumer choices, or raised the price of advertising. " Her coalition consisted of Advocate General from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.
"Even the largest social media platform in the world must follow the law and respect consumers," James said last week. "I am proud to lead a bilingual coalition of advocates-general in investigating whether Facebook has suppressed competition and put users at risk."
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the former attorney general of Missouri, was one of the first to start an antitrust investigation into Google in 2017. Hawley has transferred the same technical skepticism to the conference rooms where he has a number of invoices aimed at regulating the industry. He has also taken the helm of the Republican party's claims that major technological platforms censor conservative speech, an unsubstantiated theory.
"I'm really happy with this news that so many states are standing together and essentially working with Missouri in their two-year-old efforts to investigate Google," Hawley told me Bloomberg Sunday.