50 State Attorneys' General Probing Google For Antitrust Violations

Advertisement
Advertisement

Google is currently being investigated by a whopping 50 State Attorneys' General right now for antitrust violations, with the only two States not taking part in this investigation being California and Alabama – for now.

This probe by the State Attorneys' General is actually in addition to the probe by the US Department of Justice, which Google confirmed in a blog post last week.

The probe is looking into Google's online advertising business

A business of Google's that has seen quite a bit of scrutiny over the past few years, Google's online advertising business is the focus of this probe.

Advertisement

At a press conference on Monday, Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton stated that Google "dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet." Which is a pretty large monopoly for any company, let alone Google. A company that has its hands in so many businesses right now.

Other attorneys' general are also concerned over how Google "processes and ranks search results to the extent to which it may not fully protect users' personal information."

This, of course, could become a much bigger deal for Google. As the probe could expand beyond its advertising business.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, Florida's Attorney General, Ashley Moody is more worried about the lack of competition in the ad space. Stating that "when there is no longer a free market or competition, this increases prices, even when something is marketed as free, and harms consumers." Also raising concerns over giving Google more privacy information for these ads.

Google is no stranger to antitrust probes

Google has had its fair share of antitrust probes over the years. In fact, just in the past couple of years, it has had a number of probes and paid out billions to the European Union.

Which got President Trump thinking that the US should be doing the same thing. Considering Google is a US company.

Advertisement

Google runs a monopoly in many different business areas. This isn't because it has forced people out, but because it's so big already, that when it enters a new space, others can't compete with it.

Google does still make about 95-percent or more of its revenue from ads. So if it is forced to make some changes to how it displays ads or prices them, due to this probe, it could make a serious dent in its revenue numbers.

It's very possible that the state attorneys' general could slap Google with another fine, on top of whatever the Department of Justice does with Google. But it'll likely be a while before any of that comes to fruition. This is because these probes do take time.

Advertisement