Google Being Investigated for Antitrust Violations by Slew of States

More than half of US state attorneys general are investigating Google for antitrust violations, the Washington Post reported. Officials anonymously told the Post that the probes are expected to be announced on Monday.

This marks a serious escalation in mostly recent government efforts to increase regulation of the giant tech firms that have become the most powerful private enterprises in the world, squashing competition in their home industries and disrupting adjacent ones. The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are already looking into the potentially anticompetitive power of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

Google commands more than a third of the digital advertising market and has no real rival in the search industry with the possible exception of Amazon’s incursion into e-commerce queries specifically. It has used its whopping profits in search to invest heavily in additional industries and make strategic acquisitions, scooping up video firm YouTube and pioneering autonomous cars at Waymo.

The Post’s sources said the efforts to investigate Google are bipartisan. If state attorneys general from both parties and a variety of states pursue Google, the investigations will pressure federal agencies to act.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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