Culture 3 min read

Upcoming State Attorneys' Antitrust Investigation Targets Google

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Over half of America’s state attorneys are reportedly preparing to announce an antitrust investigation against Google next week. The probe marks another significant development in the efforts of U.S. regulators to unravel the activities of Silicon Valley‘s most prominent tech companies.

According to The Washington Post, a smaller group of the said state attorneys is planning to unveil the investigation in Washington on Monday. People familiar with the matter who spoke with TWP didn’t reveal whether the attorneys’ coalition will also open probes into other U.S. tech giants like Facebook and Amazon.

Last July, the U.S. Justice Department has opened a broad antitrust investigation regarding Silicon Valley tech companies’ alleged ‘unlawful’ stifling of competition. Attorney General William Barr confirmed that Google, Facebook, and Amazon were the primary targets of the said probe.

In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division said:

“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands. The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”

Antitrust Investigation Against Google

Over the past years, Silicon Valley mainstays have been under heavy public and government scrutiny for their data collection and content policing practices. Regulators have also grown weary of these Big Techs’ influence and wealth that allowed them to devour their competitors and maintain market dominance.

Earlier this year, some state attorneys criticized Google over its handling of users’ personal information and its Search algorithms. Others claimed that if Google’s political bias leads to censorship of conservative views, the company could violate state consumer-protection laws.

At the moment, it is unclear whether the Justice Department will join the state attorneys’ coalition in its probe. A spokesperson to the department said in a statement:

“Google’s services help people every day, create more choice for consumers, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the country. We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector.”

Aside from facing numerous inquiries in the United States, Google has also faced backlash in other countries, particularly the European Union, for its illegal market dominance and manipulation of global internet search trends on mobile devices.

Last year, the embattled tech giant was fined with $5.1 billion for violating the EU Antitrust Rules. Then on March this year, it was again fined by EU with $1.7 billion for abusing its market dominance in the region.

Read More: Google’s Privacy Sandbox Will Limit Advertisers’ Access To User Data

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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