After months of rumors, the biggest anti-trust probe is finally going to happen. On Monday, over fifty U.S states’ attorney generals announced an anti-trust investigation against Google.
The investigation, led by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton from Texas will primarily look at the tech giant’s online advertising and Internet search practices.
The antitrust investigation will also look into the growing concerns that Google might be stifling the competition.
Google “dominates all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet…they dominate the buyer side, the seller side, the auction side and the video side with YouTube,” said Ken Paxton in a press conference on Monday via Washington Post.
Only the state of California and Alabama have decided to stay out of the investigation. However, the Golden State already has tied Google’s hands with the upcoming Anti-privacy law, which would hamper the search giant’s data collection practices.
At the press conference, the attorney generals suggested that they might expand their investigation, particularly on how Google is handling the user’s private data.
In 2011, Google faced a similar anti-trust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and imposed penalties on the tech giant.
Also, back in March 2019, Google was fined €1.5 Billion by the European Commission on accounts of misusing its dominance in online advertising to block rival online search advertisers.
Parallel to the current anti-trust investigation, the US Department of Justice is running its own investigation on all the popular tech giants, including Google. DOJ is looking into whether companies are using unfair practices to stifle the competition.
All these investigations, potentially leading to big fines, will be a huge blow for Google and it’s dominance in the market.